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Westfield State University tries to resolve globe vandalism issue

Date: 2/13/2015

WESTFIELD – When the Patriots won the Super Bowl on Feb. 1, all of New England celebrated. Students at Westfield State University, however, took the celebrations too far.   

The university lost the signature globe sculpture in the center of campus as victory festivities turned to vandalism.

According to a letter sent out by the university’s interim president, Dr. Elizabeth Preston, the globe was damaged beyond repair and multiple continents were ripped from the base of the globe.

Preston said that the university will not “shift financial resources” in order to pay for replacing the globe, as it would not be fair to use money that could be used for scholarships to fix an unnecessary act of vandalism.

Instead, Preston has redirected the financial burden as a task for the student body.

“I am therefore challenging the students of Westfield State to step forward and take on a campaign to raise the funds necessary for the design and construction of a new globe, a new icon for the university that celebrates our connectedness to this special place and our connections to places and cultures around the world,” Preston said in the letter.

Though the original globe could not be salvaged in its entirety, parts of it may be used in the reconstruction of the new structure, something that Preston said would provide “continuity.”

The students have accepted Preston’s challenge to find ways to replace to the globe. According to Molly Watson of Westfield State’s Public Affairs office, students have been stepping up to find a solution and raise the money necessary.

Many university staff, students and alumni have been “saddened and angered” as a result of the vandalism, according to Preston. The university will continue to investigate and deal with the students involved in the incident.

“The destruction of the globe was a senseless act, unworthy of our campus community,” Preston wrote. “Public Safety and Student Affairs will take appropriate measures to deal with those responsible: for the rest of us, the response must be the construction of a new sculpture that captures the true spirit of the university.”