Banner goes up in flames

'Quad cam' not helpful

The elections for the Student Confederation, AU's student government, took a negative turn early Thursday morning when a campaign poster hanging on the Quad was set on fire. The 6-foot-by-6-foot poster had a large hole burned into the center and several other burn marks, Public Safety reported.

The felt poster advertised the ticket of Polson Kanneth for president and Jason Trombley for vice president and was hung between a light post and a tree outside Bender Library. A student working the information desk of the library noticed the fire and contacted Public Safety at approximately 1:53 a.m., according to Dwight Allen, manager of Police Services. A student in the Mary Graydon Center also saw the flames, grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out, Allen said.

The student at the library did not see who lit the fire, Allen said, and Public Safety is attempting to contact the student who put out the fire. Kanneth was contacted about the poster on Thursday morning and it was taken down. A tarp was put up to replace the poster on Saturday, Kanneth said.

"At first I was really worried, but then when I looked at it, I was like, 'someone did it, we'll take it down and put up another one,'" Kanneth said. "This time we decided to use a tarp [so] hopefully that won't catch on fire."

The cost of the banner will not be charged to Kanneth's campaign, according to Kyle Harding, the chair of the Board of Elections.

"I am not going to hold that against their finances just because of the fact that it was an incident where damage was done," Harding said. "We have no way of controlling anything like that and [Kanneth] had no way of budgeting for that, so we're going to give them the benefit of the doubt."

Public Safety is investigating the burning, which is listed as malicious burning on the crime log instead of arson, which applies to "a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.," according to Public Safety's Annual Security Report.

Allen responded to questions about using the Quad Web cam to identify the person responsible, saying that the camera is unreliable for several reasons, including the fact that it is not taped, is of poor quality, cannot be pointed in a different direction and it is controlled by Physical Plant Operations, not Public Safety.

"When you put in all the factors, you have a 1-in-25 chance of having anything you can use," Allen said.

Kanneth is hopeful that Public Safety will find the person responsible and "charge them with whatever punishment they get."

"I've been here since 2001," Kanneth said. "I've never seen anything like this."

Kanneth said the best one-liner to sum up the incident is that "the campaign's on fire"

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