Kidnapped 'T' returns to Tech Tower

By Scott Lange
Assistant News Editor

David Dacus
The "T"s that were stolen last quarter were returned safely to the top of the Tower last weekend.

The beloved Tech Tower is finally whole again after workers replaced the "T" on the north side. The Tower had been "T"-less for 87 days, following the theft of the "T" on November 7.
The Georgia Tech Office of Facilities replaced the "T" during the day on January 31. Workers also replaced the other three "T"s that were damaged in the incident, as well as repaired the roof.
"We spent approximately 25 hours of labor plus contract cost [of fabricating and installing the "T"s]," said Warren Page, Director of Operations and Maintenance, Office of Facilities.
The Division of Student Affairs charged five students with violations of the Student Conduct Code in relation to the theft. The five individuals appeared before Dr. Scott Friedman, Acting Senior Associate Dean of Students.
"If the student chooses to, rather than having me adjudicate the situation, they can ask for it to be heard by the Undergraduate Judiciary Committee (UJC)," said Dean Friedman. "In this particular incident, all five individuals chose for me to administratively handle the situation."
By choosing the administrative hearing, the students allowed Dean Friedman to impose sanctions based on his discretion. Students may not appeal a decision reached in an administrative hearing.
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Dean Friedman could not release the outcome of the students cases.
The damage to the Tower was extensive. "The damages that occurred amounted to $1223.75," said Dean Friedman.
The new "T"s feature a new protective coating instead of the porcelain coating on the old "T"s. Warren Page chose the new coating because it was more cost effective.
"[With porcelain coated "T"s], the total damage bill would have been in the $20,000 range," said Dean Friedman.
"This is not the kind of behavior that we want our students involved in," Dean Friedman said. "Not only can there be extreme damage, but its very dangerous, and you certainly don't want anyone hurt or killed."
"I think its very important that people understand that the administration takes this very seriously. People will be charged for violating the student conduct code. We are looking for people to be accountable for their behavior and be responsible for their behavior."
Criminal charges are also a possibility for any student who attempts to steal the "T" from the Tower in the future.
"[Stealing the 'T'] is criminal activity, trespassing, and vandalism," said Friedman. "When a student commits a crime, it is always possible that it could be adjudicated in the criminal justice system."

Copyright © 1998 by Gregory S. Scherrer, Editor and by the Student Publications Board

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