Serial soaper strikes again

Josh Richards

Staff Writer

Troy University’s resident prankster has soaped the fountain again.

Andrew Ellis, director of university relations, said that while it may seem like a harmless prank, soaping the fountain adds to the cost of maintaining the university’s operations.

“It’s a matter of operating the university,” Ellis said. “We maintain our grounds and try to keep our buildings nice. Anytime you encounter things that disrupt the day-to-day routine, it makes a difference.”

Ellis said that activities like soaping the fountain are disruptive not only in cost, but also in productivity.

“Not only does (soaping the fountain) require cleaning once it happens, but it also requires the workforce to be reallocated,” Ellis said. “They end up doing things like cleaning the fountain when they could be doing things like cleaning the grounds or working on buildings.”

Mark Salmon, director of the university’s physical plant, said in a previous interview that the cost to clean the fountain ranges from $200 to $600. He was not available for follow-up information.

“There are unforeseen consequences I wouldn’t expect students to think about,” he said. “But the point we want to get across is that even if it’s done in fun, sometimes it comes with costs.”

As of yet, no one has been held responsible for the prank.

Ellis said that while there is no set method of applying consequences for the crime, the prankster or pranksters, if caught, would possibly be subject to the disciplinary process of student services.

Preventive measures, like cameras or monitors, have not yet been mentioned, Ellis said. However, they have not been ruled out.

“I am not aware of any discussion of (prevention) right now,” Ellis said.  “That’s not to say that someone hasn’t mentioned the possibility.

“The important thing for students to realize is that there is a cost involved in maintaining the university. We feel like we have a beautiful campus. We want students to be able to enjoy it, and we want visitors to this campus to have the type of experience that we all enjoy as part of the Troy family. We just want to make sure the awareness is there.”

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