Mississippi University for Women has upgraded the security system in the Department of Art and Design after a break-in last spring.
In the early hours of March 10, 2014, two MUW students broke into the art building and vandalized several pieces of artwork. Sources say that prior to the incident, the two individuals had been drinking before entering the art and design building. Unaware that they were being videotaped, the two went into room 212 of the building and proceeded to damage the works of two art students.
MUW Chief of Police Danny Patton was called by Professor Shawn Dickey to assess the situation. They were able to retrieve the footage of the two vandals and quickly identified them.
“I’m thankful for the system, because without it we wouldn’t have caught them,” said Dickey.
Immediately after the incident additional security measures were put in place to prevent another break-in from happening. Patton noted that more cameras have been installed around the building and the front doors were changed out and replaced with new ones that lock automatically in the evening. Along with the new automatic doors, the access to the building has been totally redone.
According to Dickey, the building now has a new card-swipe system for students to enter the building after hours. The building now locks at 5 p.m., and only students who are either art majors or taking an art class have access to the building after hours.
Christina Dooley is very happy with the new card swipe system. Dooley is one of the two students whose works were destroyed by the vandals. Of the two, she lost the most work------------------ a total of eight pieces. The vandals took a knife to several of her paintings, and many of her pieces had paint on the backs of them. She took what happened to her work personally.
“Thankfully most of the works were already graded, but sadly I am unable to use them in my senior show,” said Dooley.
Although she feels there should have been more transparency between the university and the students whose works were damaged, she feels that the new security system makes it safer for her when she is working in the art building during the night.