Evergreen College reopens after vandalism Sunday night

Yesterday, Evergreen College announced it was going to remain closed for the day because of “new threat information” received by authorities. It wasn’t clear if the new information was related to the threat that closed campus last Thursday and Friday or was an entirely new threat which authorities weren’t ready to talk about. Today the Washington Post reports the closure Monday was prompted by some vandalism that took place on campus Sunday night.

The public college in Olympia, Wash. reopened over the weekend, but shut down again Monday.

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza said school officials were responding to the threat from last week as well as an incident Sunday night. “They have had people walking around with sticks and baseball bats late at night causing property damage,” including graffiti and broken windows, he said Monday. “They asked us to come out and assist.”

He said campus police told him there was about $10,000 worth of property damage.

So far, that’s the only report about this at a major paper. The school’s spokesman did not respond to questions about the damage from the Post. I also called to get more information and was referred to the spokesman’s voicemail.

Professor Bret Weinstein posted an image showing graffiti on campus. The ‘No Evergreen PD’ tag is a reference to progressive student demands that campus police be eliminated or, at the least, disarmed.

A blog belonging to biologist and author Jerry Coyne quotes an unnamed source saying windows were broken at Evergreen, which might explain where the damage estimate reported by the Post is coming from:

Graffiti reading “f**k racist faculty” and “No Evergreen PD” [Police Department] has been written several places around campus. Rocks were thrown through the windows of both the Natural History Museum, and the Scientific Computing Labs today.

The situation at Evergreen prompted an editorial from the Seattle Times yesterday arguing that the out-of-control protests pose a threat to the school’s future:

Evergreen faces a deeper, and more long-term threat. It is the only state four-year higher education institution to see enrollment drop steeply since 2011 despite wide-open admission standards. At about 4,080 students, it is about 300 students short of the Legislature’s funded enrollment target.

The two problems are now entwined. Evergreen President George Bridges and his administration need to assure future students and their parents that academics come first — and not acquiesce to the 200-or-so student protesters at the expense of the 4,000-student campus. Without safety, there’s no learning, and without learning, Evergreen will wither into irrelevance.

The piece concludes “for it to survive, Evergreen must impose consequences when a student protest hijacks other students’ learning.” A good start would be taking action against those who have been vandalizing the campus.