Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Spirituality room vandalized, items stolen

Over the weekend of April 18, the spiritual activities room in Prentiss hall was “abused,” according to Coordinator of Religious and Spiritual Life Adam Kirtley.

Several items were taken from the room, including a prayer rug and large wooden cross. Other items were knocked from bookshelves tables and walls, including materials intended for a scrap book in memory of Michael Quimpo.

“It’s really disappointing.   This is an important space, it may not be important to everyone but the fact that it is important to anyone is hopefully something to consider about being respectful members of this community,” said Kirtley.

No information is yet available about who perpetrated the acts of disrespect against the room, but an e-mail was sent by Prentiss Hall Resident Director Mariah Weston asking residents of the hall to come forward with any information regarding the incident or the whereabouts of the stolen items. A no-questions-asked policy has been instated with regard to the return of the prayer rug and cross.

Two Whitman faith-based groups, the Whitman Christian Fellowship and Hillel-Shalom, regularly use the spirituality room for activities.

Junior Rachel Stein, co-president of Hillel-Shalom, a Jewish student group, said the news of the damages to the room reached her via an e-mail from Kirtley.

“I was disappointed to hear that the room was treated so badly,” said Stein.

Sophomore Allison Gill, a Residential Assistant in Prentiss, leads a weekly Bible study in the spirituality room. She says her primary concern on hearing the news was the long-term affects such an incident could have on the accessibility of the room.

“I was particularly worried because I really would hate to see access restricted. You want the space to be open for anyone to use and this kind of conduct could threaten that,” said Gill.

The spirituality room, housed in room 10 of the Prentiss Hall basement, will remain open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week as prior to the vandalism incident.

Limiting entry to the room was considered as a response to the vandalism, but Kirtley says the space will likely stay accessible to students as often as previously.

“The room’s access has been one of its greatest assets and clearly it’s a liability as well, but I’m really thrilled that the administrators and residence staff that I have talked to have shown a lot of support for continuing to keep the room open.   This isn’t going to deter the us from keeping the room open to the community,” said Kirtley.

First-year Faith Tucker shares Kirtley’s desire to keep the room open.

“I go down occasionally when I am needing some quiet and solitude during the school day,” said Tucker. “I think the room is a valuable resource and the space should be respected.”

If you have any information regarding the stolen items or abuse of the spirituality room, you may contact Religious Counselor Adam Kirtley at [email protected] or Associate Dean of Students Nancy Tavelli at [email protected].

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