ROTC Monument Toppled by Vandals

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Sunday, Oct. 30 at 8:07 a.m. University Police and Safety Officer Jesse Nichols noticed the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps monument, located outside the Benson Bunker Fieldhouse, on its side.

Through an investigation the North Dakota State UPSO was able to find the perpetrators.

Erik Karl, a freshman studying industrial engineering and management, and Jacob R. Beardsley from Grand Forks are being charged criminal mischief — a class B misdemeanor — NDSU police chief, Bill Vandal said.

A court case will follow their charges to possibly formally convict both men. Fargo city court will determine that date.

Mike Borr, director of university police and safety, said in an email the vandals were found, “after conducting a number of interviews,” the Forum reported.

According to LtCol. Ted Preister, a professor of military science, said the monument has been in place for seven months.

The 900 pound monument honors 100 years of ROTC at NDSU.

Preister has worked in Benson Bunker Fieldhouse since 2013. He said, “Not a day goes by that garbage cans aren’t knocked over,” and this time the vandals just chose something larger in their paths.

“This was just a random act of vandalism as far as I know,” Priester said. Vandal confirmed the statement.

“There are people who make bad decisions, whether under the influence of alcohol or not,” Preister said.

Vandal said the most common acts of vandalism occuring on campus are “garbage cans that are knocked over or the occasional mirror being kicked off of a car.”

Vandal does not believe this was directed specifically towards ROTC in any way.

A sign placed on the monument warned the public not to try to stand it back up, in order to save the monument from more damage.

“I explicitly told all my students not to move the monument,” Preister said.

Despite these instructions, the monument was stood back up Friday.

Some damage was visible after the monument was back in place, Priester reported, chips in the face of the monument were caused due to the landing of the monument in the rock bed surrounding it.

Dakota Monument, the company who originally made the piece, is assessing the damage so the future of the monument can be decided upon.

Vandel emphasizes the motto, “See something, say something.”

“Students are more likely to text us, than they are to call us, which is fine,” Vandel said. “Just as long as they are doing it.”

“I like to remind folks that as back as 1890, when the university was founded, military has been apart of the, ‘land grant’ at NDSU,” Priester said. “The university has put out thousands of men and raised money military related for 120 years. Thats why the monument is there, and we hope that people can continue to respect the monument and the program.”

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