Arts and Sciences banners stolen

Daina Amorosano

Public Safety received a report that four of the Arts and Sciences Banner Initiative banners had been taken around the same time without any official authorization on Nov. 5. The banners had been hung on the light posts around SAC along the path to both Mendel and John Barry Hall. Since then, Public Safety has initiated an ongoing investigation into the theft.The banners, of which there were originally 23, were designed by Bernadette Dierkes and Lorraine Gallagher-Williams of the Office of University Communication and featured individuals from both the past and present who worked in various disciplines to advance the cause of society in some way. With vibrant colors and images, these banners celebrated some of the world’s most influential thinkers. The mission of the design and concept was to inspire students and staff to excel in their own chosen field.Several measures have been taken in order to locate the missing banners, ascertain who stole them and prevent the unauthorized removal of other banners in the future. Public Safety regularly patrols the area.Although Public Safety Investigator Joanna Aversa, who is investigating the situation, was unable to comment, Director of Public Safety David Tedjeske said that the nature of this incident makes part of the investigation a collaborative effort. After learning of the situation, Residence Life alerted RAs to be on the lookout. “In this kind of a theft, we alert Residence Life members so that they are on guard in case they see something … [that] looks out of place,” Tedjeske said. “As an RA, I was disturbed to hear about the theft of the banners and am certainly following procedure accordingly,” junior Khristine Joy Reclusado said. “But I think that as a Villanova student in general, I am probably even more troubled. It just seems so out of character.” As the first offense of its kind, the incident does appear out of character, as Tedjeske also noted that this situation is unique. “To date, there have been no other cases where banners have been stolen,” he said.Currently, there are no suspects or leads as to who is responsible. However, the investigation continues. If found, those involved will be subject to sanctions from the Dean of Students per the discretion of the hearing officers.