On January 18th, the day returning students arrived on campus to begin the new semester, the Skidmore community received a safety alert from Lori Parks announcing that Campus Safety and the Saratoga Springs Police Department were investigating two Skidmore-related break-ins and burglaries in SkidShop and Sasselin Art Building. Click to continue »
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At approximately 8:30am this morning–in the midst of a three-hour campus lockdown–Shane Harding, 25, was arrested while on campus and put into custody by state authorities. The arrest marked the resolution of a manhunt following abduction and rape charges against Harding in Massachusetts on Tuesday.
Students awake at the ungodly hour of 7:04 were alerted of Harding’s presence on campus via the following email/text from the emergency alert system:
A Skidmore emergency exists lock yourself in a room and keep quiet. Police are looking for a male suspect wanted for rape, suspect is armed. Suspect is a white male 25 years old, 5.9 170 lbs blond hair, wearing blue jeans, green long sleeve shirt. Stay in your rooms and report anything suspicious to Campus Safety. More information to follow. The college is closed until further notice.
What followed was a series of 13 alerts charting the investigation of the campus intrusion by both campus safety and State Police officials, which climaxed with the 8:14am alert that the suspect had been arrested and put into custody–and the 9:57am alert that classes would resume at 10:15am. At 10:12am, an alert was sent out in which Campus Safety “request[ed] that everyone keep an eye out for suspicious items that may be evidence,” whatever the fuck that could mean.
A more detailed account of Harding’s arrest/crime history can be read here.
Of course the question on everyone’s (see: or maybe just my) mind is what the fuck brought this creep to Saratoga Springs (let alone Skidmore College) from North Greenbush, but maybe that’s just reading into things too much and trying to find order and meaning where there lies none.
Either way, regardless of how ratchet our emergency alert system can be/look at times, the college, campus safety, and local/state authorities deserve a shout-out for quickly responding to the situation–and keeping anyone who was unfortunate enough to be awake at this time updated on what was going on.
Thursday, Sept. 5
- Larceny – at 7:05 PM Individual reports a hubcap from vehicle in Wait Lot was stolen. Report issued.
Friday, Sept. 6
- Criminal Mischief – 12:58 AM Individual reports broken molecule sculpture in Palamountain by unknown person. Dispatched Officers recorded damage and issued report.
- Larceny – at 7:05 PM Individual reports a hubcap from vehicle in Wait Lot was stolen. Report issued.
- Suspicious Activity – At 9:40 PM Officers report suspicious activity on Perimeter Road. Officers observed three individuals with office furnishings. Report made.
Monday, Sept. 8
- False Personation – at 9:15 AM individual turned over found identification in Wiecking Hall. ID found to have false information on it. Identification turned into College administrator.
- Suspicious Activity – at 11:14 AM Officer observed male carrying what looked like a traffic sign. Upon interview male stated he found the sign abandoned. Municipality contacted and sign was reported stolen. Report issued.
Tuesday, Sept. 9
- Possession of Stolen Property – at 8:48 am individual requests an officer retrieve balloon stand that was taken from the front entrance of the college. Disp. Officer who reports the balloon stand was located and returned to RP. Report made.
- College Violation/Noise – at 12:27 PM individual reports loud music coming from McClellan dorm room. Dispatched Officer reports he is unable to hear any loud music in this area. Case unfounded.
Wednesday, Sept. 10
- Skateboarding on Campus – Report of subject skateboarding on hill by Perimeter Road. Officer dispatched.
Thursday, Sept. 11
- Suspicious Activity – 1:33 AM received a call about two males sleeping on the second floor of Case Center by the elevator. A cab was called for the two non-community members. Report made.
After we emailed her yesterday asking for a comment on the recent arrest (and alleged firing) of Campus Safety Officer Robert Gardner, Dean of Students Rochelle Calhoun has responded and indicated that we will be hearing from President Glotzbach at some point this week. You can find her full response below. Thanks to anyone who has taken the time to get in contact with Dean Calhoun or any other college official on the whole affair.
Dear Skidmore Unofficial,
Thank you for your e-mail and the opportunity to address your concerns.
The College did address the incident involving a former employee immediately. What we did not do was to immediately inform the Skidmore community that we had addressed the incident as it related to our campus. What I want you to know is that the College takes issues of sexual and gender-based misconduct very seriously. It is the seriousness with which we view this issue that has shaped our planned response. We have been working on a comprehensive response to the community. Our response to this important issue includes:
- a clear message from the President about our institutional values and expectations
- a new website that brings together information about our revised policies and resources (both on-and off-campus)
- an announcement of a series of open forums where we can come together as a community to discuss issues of sexual and gender-based misconduct and our shared community values
- an update to the community about the incident this summer
You can anticipate receiving a letter from President Phil Glotzbach this week. We have been working diligently for some weeks now to be ready to get a message out to our community before the beginning of the new academic year. Once you receive the letter, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with any suggestions or concerns.
I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. I hope that we will continue to be engaged together in this important dialogue.
All the best,
W. Rochelle Calhoun
Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs
Robert Gardner, a 35 year campus safety officer, has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse and unlawful surveillance of a 28-year-old woman and Saratoga resident. Sources report (and some in slightly graphic detail, so a trigger warning might be in order) that the incident happened Wednesday afternoon at the victim’s residence on Lincoln Ave after Gardner, 62, drove her back home Saratoga Lake, where “Gardner and [she] had been drinking most of the day” (WYNT.com). Gardner, 62, was released on his own recognizance by City Court Judge Jeffrey Wait, and has been suspended by the College without pay. Sources report he is facing up to 7 years in prison.
Naturally, one is left to wonder why students have had yet to be notified, and perhaps the optimistic answer to this question is that the college will (and had planned to) do so in the very, very near future. Still, time will tell.
Of course, the question then becomes What will the college do next? Even though this terrible violation didn’t take place on the Skidmore campus or involve a Skidmore student, this is definitely a Skidmore issue. It reflects poorly on Campus Safety to students, parents, and potential applicants. And, since the perpetrator is a representative of the Skidmore community–and, perhaps worse, someone who is supposed to serve as a symbol of safety and protection from such crimes–it reflects poorly on Skidmore in general.
Though some action has been taken in Gardner’s suspension without pay, how the college chooses to address this situation–one that is, sadly, merely one in a long line of events concerning safety and sexual assault on college campuses–will no doubt be key in determining how people perceive Skidmore and its stance on such matters. Here’s hoping they make the right decision. And here’s hoping they’ll be kept accountable for it.
Friday, Oct. 25:
- Criminal Mischief: Damage reported at 11:31 a.m. to an outside display at the Tang Teaching Museum. Dispatched officer. Report made.
- Suspicious Odor: A gas odor reported at 2:30 p.m. by the south door of McClellan Hall. Sergeant reported normal odor when the boiler first started up and the exhaust was blowing up the south stairs.
- Fire Alarm: A fire alarm received at 11:41 p.m. at 12 Whitman Way. Officers found a heavy smoke condition from marijuana upon their arrival. The Saratoga Springs Fire Department was contacted and advised.
Saturday, Oct. 26:
- Criminal Mischief: Report received at 2:24 a.m. that a front door in Wait Hall wouldn’t close. Dispatched officer and maintenance who requested a carpenter. The carpenter reported at 6:16 a.m. that the door had been repaired.
- Criminal Mischief: Officer reported finding a hole at 8:48 p.m. in the second floor east stairwell of Penfield Hall.
- Criminal Mischief: Two males reported at 11:50 p.m. urinating on a Moore Way building and then smashing a bottle against the reporting person’s door after she closed it. Officers dispatched but subjects were gone upon arrival. No damage found and the glass was cleaned up by a resident.
- Suspicious Activity: A suspicious vehicle reported at 9:30 p.m. parked in the Cane Crossing Parking Lot.
Sunday, Oct. 27:
- Disorderly Conduct: Officer reported at 12:22 a.m. that a student pushed past him at an event in Case Center.
- Suspicious Odor: A suspicious odor reported at 7:33 p.m. on the second floor of Penfield Hall. Officer dispatched.
- Suspicious Activity: Officers reported a suspicious male at 11:42 p.m. near the exhibit at the Tang Teaching Museum.
Monday, Oct. 28:
- Aggravated Harassment: Offensive texts reported at 4 p.m. at Cane Crossing. Follow up conducted and report taken.
Halloween (and more importantly but not really) Moorebid Ball is rapidly approaching and I bet a whole lot of your are freaking out about your lack of witty costume idea. I know the feelings: stressed with work, too cool to go out and buy something, but you still have those cute cat ears from last year, and the year before, so you’ll be the same cat you were last year, and the year before. Only a couple people will notice so it’s whatever, it’s takes minimal effort and you’ll look good. Right!? Well, sure, if you’re super lame, but we’ve got some alternatives for you. We know there’s pressure to come up with the coolest, funniest, and most eye-popping costume out of all our friends and everybody else at Moorebid, so we’ve put together a list of the five best Skidmore-related costumes you can make from just your closet… and maybe your friends closet too, and at worst a quick trip to Salvation Army, but nothing major.
If you’re a fresh-faced First Year, you’re probably getting tired of hearing about how crazy Moorebid is from upperclassmen. You’re probably thinking, All of the Skidmore parties I’ve been to have been, like, hella tame. Are these old fucks even capable of going hard?
Look, I’m not going to take that personally. As a senior, I’ve learned to control my emotional reactions to clueless freshers like you. As a preface, I would like to present my own personal experiences at Moorebid Ball.
Friday, Sept. 13:
- Moving Violations: Officers observed three violations at 6:36 a.m. of vehicles being driven the wrong way on a one-way thoroughfare on the North Woods and New Apartments grounds.
- College Violation: Officer reported a college violation of alcohol found at 6:36 p.m. while granting access to a room for a maintenance call in Wiecking Hall. Alcohol confiscated. Report made.
Friday, Sept. 6:
- Public Lewdness: Officer caught a male at 1 a.m. urinating outside of the entrance to Penfield Hall. Male identified and advised to cease his actions in the future. Report made.
Saturday, Sept. 7:
- College Violation: Report received at 4:10 a.m. that an adjacent room in McClellan Hall was being very loud. Officer dispatched and reported the loud noise was coming from a television which was now turned off.
- Medical Assistance: Report received at 9:18 p.m. that a person had spilled a hot beverage in Wait Hall and burnt her chin. Dispatched officers and the Skidmore College Emergency Medical Service. The SCEMS evaluated the reporting person who was transported to the Saratoga Emergency Room.