“Reckless” vandals damage equipment at Wadham

College News News

Wadham students have been accused of “acting like reckless and spoilt children” in an email sent by their SU President Anya Metzer.

The angry message, sent on Wednesday fifth week, comes after expensive audiovisual equipment was tampered with. Metzer labelled the perpetrators “selfish, irresponsible [and] ungrateful.”

Metzer also suggested that the incident might necessitate the installation of CCTV in the main part of the room. The idea “will be discussed at the next SU meeting”.

The equipment damaged included a brand new projector donated to the JCR by a Fellow of college.

According to the email, “all the wires in every console had been pulled as hard as they could be. The equipment in the AV box was pulled with them and the transmitter for the projector was bent and broken.

“Someone had tried to pry the AV box open with a grille ripped off something else. The projector was entirely unresponsive.”

Metzer was also concerned about the long-term implications of the episode. She wrote: “The SU are in the middle of crucial negotiations about rent and the rights of suspended students. Acting like reckless and spoilt children makes lobbying College on these things extremely difficult.”

After the damage was discovered, college IT staff and SU Technical Officer Sam Greenhalgh successfully repaired the equipment. He described how he discovered “a lot of our equipment inside our AV cabinet disturbed on Monday morning”, and that “thankfully nothing was irreparably damaged.” The repairs saved £3000 in replacement costs, according to Metzer. Greenhalgh did speculate that the unresponsive projector was “a coincidence”, having had “a similar issue” before, quite apart from these attacks on property.

The vandals have not yet been identified, though Wadham is currently reviewing their CCTV footage that covers a small part of the JCR. Metzer urges those responsible to “come forward and apologise for this, and explain if it was an accident.”

Gana Nwana, a first-year Wadhamite studying modern languages, echoes Metzer’s outrage: “I am very disappointed that the small minority of students who choose to act this way should drain resources that are, by definition, property of the entire college community. You hoodlums stole Fifa 14 last term; isn’t that punishment enough?!”

Metzer commented to the Oxford Student , adding: “We are still making inquiries about this incident and the idea it may have come from outside has not been totally ruled out. The matter is still being discussed between the SU and College and the outcomes are undecided.”