Pandemic lockdown, alcohol blamed for unprecedented destruction in UVM residence halls

Vandalism “creates insecurity in our communities,” official says

UVM officials (from top, right) Charles Holmes-Hope, Patricia Prelock, and Erica Caloiero describe unprecedented residence hall vandalism committed by students in an Oct. 26 video call with parents.

By Guy Page

UVM officials are blaming alcohol consumption and the pandemic lockdown for an outbreak of vandalism in residence halls estimated at over $100,000, they said in an October 26 video call to parents. 

Card readers, ceiling tiles, walls, and even an elevator door have been destroyed.

“It is unlike anything we’ve seen before,” UVM Vice-Provost for Student Affairs Erica Caloiero said. She blamed “the intersection of the wrong choices and behaviors along with alcohol consumption and  the accompanying disinhibition that can occur.”

Drunken, destructive behavior by young college students is not new behavior at UVM. What’s new is the scale – 450 students reportedly have been billed for damages – and the likely role of the pandemic lockdown.

“Students’ access to some social development opportunities in high school were truncated by pandemic realities,” Caloiero said. “Their access to some appropriate and typical challenges was very suddenly and very severely limited in most cases.”  

What we see is that the stress seems bigger to some students and so the reaction to that stress is bigger as well,” Caloiero told parents. “Hassles and minor irritations sometimes prompt outsized reactions on our part. Venting doesn’t need to go to the place of wholesale condemnation of what may actually be a metaphorical pebble in the shoe, even if that pebble gives us a blister.”

Caloiero concluded that “it’s no longer our job to fix problems for students, but to provide the space for them to work through the problems that they encounter.”

A residential life official spoke at length about how UVM values of diversity, education and inclusion are threatened by a loss of public safety.

Damages creates insecurity to our communities,” Charles Holmes-Hope, Director of Residential Life, said. “We are trying to help our students to understand what this community means here at UVM. When we see damages in our residence halls it takes away from those opportunities that build community student agency.”

What can parents do about it? Hold their children accountable, a senior UVM VP said.

Patricia Prelock, Provost and Senior Vice-President, drew on her own experience of getting a $300 bill for vandalism committed by her own son, a UVM student, more than 20 years ago. She confronted him, he owned up to drinking, to knowing who did the vandalism, to not trying to stop it. Then she told him the first $300 from his summer job would go to repaying her. 

Categories: Education

18 replies »

  1. Our society has unraveled. The fabric is ripped, torn and shredded. This younger generation is as ill equipped as the older generations to lead and facilitate the functioning of a moral, just, peaceful and civilized society.

  2. Let’s see….UVM tells kids they need to get force injected with an experimental substance for a disease that doesn’t affect them and then they also lock them down and treat them like cattle. And if they don’t acquiesce they get booted out of school.

    And then they expect them to not react negatively in some way.


  3. Maybe UVM and it’s woke administration and policies have come to realize the consequences of their “no justice, no peace” philosophies abdicating individuals of personal responsibility when they are angry or discouraged about social policies?

    -Caloiero concluded that “it’s no longer our job to fix problems for students, but to provide the space for them to work through the problems that they encounter.”
    I thought that it WAS the job of a leftist government and education establishment to fix problems and tell their subjects how to think and act? Now they demand personal responsibility?

    -“A residential life official spoke at length about how UVM values of diversity, education and inclusion are threatened by a loss of public safety.”
    Gee, those promoting values of diversity and inclusion seemed to encourage wholesale destruction of property, deadly violence and threats to public safety during the rioting over the death of George Floyd in order to honor his memory and express anger toward public safety authorities. Ditto for the “justifiable rage” and violence that occurred after the election of President Trump.

    …And UVM officials are blaming the pandemic lockdowns??? Just which end of the political spectrum mandated the lockdowns??? A dozen years of leftist indoctrination in K-12 public schools are predictably bearing rotten fruit. Careful what you wish for, moonbats!

  4. While I don’t doubt that the forced Covid vaxes, “zoom school “ and the lack of typical teenage activities for several years greatly impacted todays college students I draw the line at excusing their behavior due to this. Just wondering if those who were teenagers during the Holocaust such as Eli Wiesel, locked up in Aushwitz, ran around afterwards getting drunk and engaging in vandalism?

    • And leftist moonbeams want to allow 16 year olds to vote! After reading this article, is it any wonder why colleges have turned into indoctrination centers paid for by uninformed parents. Oh, remember many of these students vote in Vermont.

      • I think I want a bumper sticker that says “Leftist Moonbeams Unite.” That’s a great appellation.

  5. Why don’t we blame the actual “cause” of this behavior? The PEOPLE THAT DID THE CRIMES!

  6. The pandemic affected and stressed all of us at different levels, i know I did not resort to destroying my residence. Sadly, most of the bills sent to the students will be paid by their parents or come out of their soon to be forgiven student loan refunds.

  7. When they are taught to not have respect for others, why in heavens name would they have any respect for others’ property. Besides the no consquences generation doesn’t have to pay for it. Mommy and Daddy will cover it and no one will be the wiser.

  8. There’s so much wrong here.

    Blame it on stress. Poor babies. Don’t expect me to change your diaper.

    Blame it on brains not yet fully developed. Nonsense, but they can vote.

    Blame it on COVID. Horse pucky.

    Blame it on kids with no self discipline or sense of right and wrong, and you might be getting closer to the truth.

  9. It would almost seem like the progressive socialist dems are trying to stir up civil unrest by not prosecuting criminals, non enforcement of the law and there support of violence against peaceful citizens. The question every American should ask is why?

    • The majority of American voters endorsed all of the above in the last election. Only those who DONT vote for democrats should ask the question: why?…

    • The cameras were not in service like: The cameras were out for Epstein, the cameras went out for the Nevada election, the cameras weren’t being watching Paul Pelosi, the cameras went off on Jan. 6th, The cameras weren’t working for the Nevada election. They don’t want the cameras to work.

  10. I’m totally disgusted with the University for their woke, passive excuses, for injecting these kids and employees with an unknown vax, isolating them, for making excuses for what seems to be THEIR mistakes as well. This state is out of control and we’ll see more and more violence and destruction as those who have no morals and values come to this passive state to get drugs, destroy and leave. Wake up people!!! God I pray the residents of Vermont gather and reject these progressive ideas and management styles! If you haven’t noticed the UVM hospital is also sinking under this management!!

  11. When the US government outright lies to millions of student loan recipients, and they find out, what do you expect ?

    • One also has to wonder about the breakdown of study curriculum. How many of the students billed for damage had “real” majors, to earn degrees that can actually benefit society and produce real paychecks…versus the ones that end in the word “studies”…like Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Asian Studies, Film and Television Studies, Global Studies, African Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Sexuality and Gender Identity Studies, Russian and East European Studies…(yes, these are all recognized major and minor programs at UVM)