Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Duck killer may receive legal and judicial consequences

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Sigma Phi Epsilon house at Southeast Missouri State University was vandalized Sun., Nov. 13.

Between 4:20 and 4:30 that afternoon, an unidentified male approached the foyer of Building K, where the Sig Eps reside, opened the door and scattered 16 duck carcasses on the floor. The dark-haired man and his passenger then sped off in a red Dodge pickup truck, as seen on footage collected from nearby cameras.

A student who found the ducks called Building K's resident assistant, Sebastian Foeller, who then called Greek Hill hall director Christine Loy. After arriving at the scene, Loy called Southeast's Department of Public Safety as well as Facilities Management.

After a preliminary investigation, DPS officers decided to alert the Missouri Department of Conservation. The Cape Girardeau Police Department was later alerted, as the act was labeled a crime because of the misuse of wildlife. The birds had obviously been shot, but not for practical hunting purposes.

"It's both a prank and vandalism," said Dr. Bruce Skinner, director of the Office of Residence Life.

"You walk into a foyer and see ten dead animals laying there, that have been bleeding, that's different than, you know, 'I put duct tape across your doorframe" or "I put some pennies in your door to keep it from opening,'" Skinner said. "You've sort of taken it a little nastier level than the more typical things we might see college students doing to one another."

Teena Reasoner, assistant director for fraternities and sororities, has heard minimal feedback from the Greek community on the incident. She said for the time being, most students are just curious as to why the act was committed.

"I'm thinking it's seen more as a prank, although not a really smart prank," Reasoner said about the motivation of the vandals. "There are some pranks that are funny and there are some pranks that cross the line. I think this is one of those that more crosses the line."

Both Skinner and Reasoner agree that this serves as a good example of why they request so often that students make sure their doors are properly closed and locked. Skinner said in the video of the crime, the door to K Building is clearly propped open.

"I know we always tell them to keep their doors lock and not to prop them open, you never know what could happen," Reasoner said. "There could be someone who wants to enter the building to do a prank or to do harm."

According to Skinner, a man came forward to DPS on Thursday night, admitting involvement in the crime. After the city's police department finishes their investigation and legal steps are taken, any students who were involved will answer to the Office of Student Conduct. They may face punishment such as community service, research projects concerning their actions and consequences and a lowered standing in the eyes of the university.