Graffiti rampant

Cordell Kintner

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Graffiti tag on the fire alarm in the third floor men’s restroom of the Technology Center on Dec. 20.

“Jew for life” read the green words on the door of a stall in the third floor men’s bathroom of the Technology building.

Graffiti is a major problem on campus; the facilities department is struggling to keep up with how fast it appears.

“Everywhere you turn it seems that there’s a new tag mark somewhere,” said Joe Andrade, facilities manager, “Not only in the bathrooms, but on the signs throughout campus, or on the signs as you enter campus.”

Taggers do not realize the stress they put on the school.  Andrade says that San Jose City College goes through 36 cans of graffiti remover for $15-to-$20-per can, per semester.

This may not seem like a lot, but sometimes graffiti remover will damage walls, so the district painter Randy Durbin has to paint over it, which wastes more resources.

“Sometimes you have to prime as well,” Durbin said, “I’ll leave to let the primer dry and take care of some other stuff, and when I come back, there’s graffiti on the primer.”

The campus police are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of graffiti as well.

“The budget situation nationwide, and specifically in the city of San Jose, has reduced the number of personnel on the Graffiti Abatement Unit, said Ray Aguirre, chief of police for the San José/Evergreen District Police Department.

With the limited amount of staff, it is hard for the campus to handle the rampant vandalism occurring on campus; they need the help of the staff, faculty and students as well.

“Eradicating vandalism is a community effort,” Aguirre said, “The public needs to participate in the sense of reporting vandalism; when they witness it to report it immediately.”

Vandalism that causes damages less than $400 is a misdemeanor; anything more is a felony.

If you witness vandalism occurring on campus, as well as any other crime, call the campus police department at 270-6468.