Trinity College looks to donations for help with vandalism repair costs

“Changing times” see the end of collective damage funds

Following a smashed window at Trinity College’s Saints Ball last November, Saints Co-Chair Julianne de Gara will run a GoFundMe page to raise the $300 necessary for repairs.

The annual Saints Ball is a charity ball, and this year’s chosen charity was Emily’s House, the first pediatric palliative care hospice in Toronto. Money from the ball was intended for donation, but since the perpetrator of the incident has yet to come forward, the Saints organizers had to pull from their proceeds.

“As per Trinity’s current policies, regardless of the fact that Saints’ priority is charity, executives must cover damage costs that are incurred during their events if the perpetrator does not come forward,” said Nish Chankar, who is Trinity’s Female Head of College. “This said, our community now has the chance to re-coup the $300 of Saints revenue that has been lost to cover the window damage, and possibly even raise more than that to contribute to Emily’s House on behalf of Trinity College.”

Trinity Dean of Students Kristen Moore explained that the incident was not accidental. Security, supervising dons, and other attending students witnessed the individual, who allegedly threw a pumpkin out the window. They were unable to find the individual, who Trinity would have charged.

Prior to the winter break, Co-Chair Abby Lendvai posted on the Trinity College Facebook page asking responsible individuals to come forward. “If we don’t determine who caused the damage then the funds to fix the window will have to come out of the money we intend to donate to Emily’s House – the only children’s hospice in Toronto,” Lendvai’s post said.

The post sparked concerns over the college taking money from charity, and students questioned why funds were not coming from a damage fund of contingency line. Moore clarified that such a damage fund, which would have come from fees charged to resident students, no longer exists.

“I would say that the reason for the change in that is just changing times and the way that it’s not really best practice anymore for institutions to charge damage deposits they don’t actually plan on returning to students,” Moore said.

Additionally, there was less incentive for people to prevent malicious damage when they knew funds were set aside and it was seen as unfair to charge residents only for damages often caused by non-residents as well. In the case of accidents or more expensive incidents, the college would help cover the costs. 

“Personally, I feel that Abby and I should have been informed about the dissolution of the damage fund prior to becoming co-chairs,” de Gara said. “Had we known, we would have taken into account eventualities and put money aside for that purpose. However, once the gofundme page is up and running, I’m sure the problem will be fixed without much issue.”

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