Late on Saturday night, students of Jonathan Edwards College were surprised to find profane graffiti in their dorm entryway. In a Jonathan Edwards stairwell, an unknown individual spray-painted the words “Fuck Yale,” “Bitch” and “Pussy’s” in green capital letters.
“Yale Police responded quickly to the report of a problem last night, and they are conducting a thorough investigation. We are very glad that no one was hurt, but this is still a terrible thing, and not acceptable,” Jonathan Edwards Head of College Mark Saltzman told the News. “We are hoping that Yale Police will identify the person(s) responsible.”
Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart told the News that she would “let [the News] know if [Yale] has more information.”
Colin Yap ’20 — who lives in a suite that connects to the vandalized stairwell — said that he learned about the vandalism through a Facebook message from a friend who knew the people in the suite above them.
“Apparently someone had gotten into the stairwell and had gotten into the suite and vandalized things,” Yap said. Yap was informed that there was “coffee poured out on the floor, lotion squirted onto the walls, and Tide pods smashed into the ground.”
When Yap returned to Jonathan Edwards, he saw at least two police officers around the entryway at approximately 1 a.m.
Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins did not respond to request for comment on Sunday. The residents of the suite that was directly vandalized declined to comment.
Demi Tega ’20 told the News that his suite was not affected by the incident, but that the suite nearby was directly vandalized. He said that the spray-painted words were a “weirdly misogynistic word choice.” Tega added that neither he nor his suitemates witnessed the incident occur.
Peter Luff ’20 — who uses the vandalized entryway as an exit — told the News that the entryway was “not a normal entryway” in that most students cannot swipe into the entryway door and can only leave through it. Unlike other entryways, the vandalized entryway leads directly to a street instead of the Jonathan Edwards courtyard. Luff said that to enter through the particular back entryway, you have to either wait for somebody to leave, have specific swipe access — which has been only granted to a few people — or enter through another entryway and travel through a suite. He added that the main entryway is connected to a library, so Jonathan Edwards students may be more inclined to let non-Jonathan Edwards residents in.
Luff told the News that someone had also spray-painted over the floor level plaques on each floor. As of Sunday night, the green graffiti was still on the walls.
“What I found interesting though, is that the suite that was vandalized seems, in a sense, the most remote in JE. It’s the highest up and you have to swipe your ID twice to get there. [It] seems like a pretty unlikely suite to choose for random vandalism,” Tega said.
He added that most people do not know about the existence of the specific stairwell.
Yap told the News that he thinks Jonathan Edwards students “took [the situation] pretty well,” with some even finding the situation funny and posing for photos with the graffiti. He said while he doesn’t think that people generally felt scared or threatened, he thinks that the situation is “definitely troubling.”
Luke McKenna ’21 — a student who lives in JE — said that the incident is unusual, the residential colleges are normally “pretty secure.” He hopes that Yale finds out who spray-painted the walls, and “[resolves] the situation accordingly.”
Ten additional Jonathan Edwards students — who live near the vandalized entryway — told the News that they had not seen or heard anything about the vandalism.
Jonathan Edwards college is located on 68 High St.
Sammy Westfall | firstname.lastname@example.org