No Pride

Up until this week, if you were driving or walking along Euclid Avenue near the intersection with Adelbert Road, you would have seen the words “Case Western Reserve University” in metal letters across the wall next to Adelbert Hall. It was an advertisement and a statement of where you were at the most visible entrance to the campus, and to some extent a symbol of university pride.

Then, sometime in December some of the letters began disappearing, slowly at first, like carrots vanishing from a garden, and then with increasing frequency until it became harder and harder to tell what the remaining letters were supposed to be attempting to spell. Some of our officers thought the campus had possibly been targeted by scrappers, people who steal things like copper pipes and sell them at junkyards for the value of the metals they contain. We started watching the sign.

The truth turned out to be far more disheartening. The truth was that our students, the future leaders of the United States, exclusively targeted the letters. Events came to a head the weekend of Jan. 24, when several groups of students were caught stealing letters by the CWRU Police Department, and in at least one instance, students were caught urinating on the sign, and one student chose to fight with officers. There are rumors this activity was somehow organized or inspired on social media.

Whether that is true or not is irrelevant. For the time being, the surviving letters have been brought back to police headquarters where they sit in storage. They may or may not be replaced, as neither the department nor the university can watch over or replace them indefinitely if the student community is determined to tear them down.

I, for one, find this sad. School spirit is sometimes an elusive thing here at CWRU, but there has to be a middle ground between painting yourself blue and white and blatant destruction of symbols of the university of which we are all a part. Let’s be better. Let’s show a little pride in our school and its symbols.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko and Officer Mark (The Crossing Guard) Chavis of CWRU PD. We welcome questions, suggestions and gripes/groans/moans/complaints about campus life at