Police want to know if toppled SPSU globe was act of vandalism or an accident
by Nikki Wiley
November 07, 2013 12:00 AM | 8961 views | 8 8 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Southern Polytechnic State University Senior Jamal Manning, who lives on campus, can't believe his eyes Wednesday seeing his school's iconic landmark world globe toppled from its base with fresh graffiti written on it opposing the merger between SPSU and Kennesaw State University. Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Southern Polytechnic State University Senior Jamal Manning, who lives on campus, can't believe his eyes Wednesday seeing his school's iconic landmark world globe toppled from its base with fresh graffiti written on it opposing the merger between SPSU and Kennesaw State University. Staff/Kelly J. Huff
MARIETTA — Police at Southern Polytechnic State University are trying to figure out if a campus landmark has been vandalized by students unhappy about the plan to merge the school with Kennesaw State University.

The large globe that sits outside of the university’s Joe Mack Wilson Student Center was toppled over Tuesday night. “Save SPSU” was scribbled across the globe, which has been a campus symbol for almost 20 years, but it’s unclear if that happened before or after it fell.

A large student rally took place around the globe Monday when protestors voiced their disdain for the planned merger announced by the University System of Georgia last week.

The university system plans to ask the Board of Regents later this month to sign off on a plan to merge the school with Kennesaw State University, 10 miles northwest. The consolidation would need final approval in January 2015.

KSU is the third-largest public university in the state with 25,000 students. SPSU has more than 6,500 students. The combined enrollment would be about 31,178 students and the school would be called Kennesaw State University, essentially eliminating the Southern Polytechnic brand.

The plan has caught the ire of students who fear the school’s identity will be lost and the quality of their degrees will be cheapened by taking on the nameplate of a school that does not have the same focus on technology.

Sylvia Carson, spokeswoman for SPSU, says campus police are trying to determine if it was an act of vandalism or an accident. Carson said the globe accidentally fell on its side two years ago.

“Our students have been extremely peaceful,” Carson said of the university’s reaction following the merger announcement.

The incident was still under investigation as of Wednesday evening.

A petition started by students at the website Change.org opposing the merger had 6,847 signatures Wednesday afternoon.

Eric Cooney, an SPSU student leading the charge against the plan, said his group isn’t responsible for the globe’s plunge.

“I can 100 percent positively say that it was no one for our movement,” said Cooney, a senior technical communications major. “We absolutely don’t condone any kind of vandalism at SPSU or at KSU.”

SPSU President Lisa Rossbacher sent an email on Wednesday to the university community asking that students be respectful following the announcement of the merger.

She said she was “saddened” to see it damaged.

“As we deal with the news about institutional consolidation and the members of our community wonder what the implications will be for SPSU’s programs and people, we need to remember the importance of focusing on the core values that guide our community interactions: respect, integrity, collaboration and excellence,” Rossbacher said in the email. “I am concerned that these guiding values may be at risk, and I am sending this message as a reminder of how our individual behavior reflects our collective values.”

Rossbacher asked students who may have witnessed the event to speak out and contact the university’s police department.

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November 11, 2013
I know interested observer can write perfectly. It will work good for his/her job at McDonalds.
SPSU Student
November 07, 2013
it would make more sense if KSU absurd Georgia Highlights or Chatt Tech or Perimeter or what not cause most of those students usually plan to transfer to KSU with some to SPSU. those colleges students would be fine with because the degrees they pursue are available at KSU and the quality of the KSU degree is better for them. If I was a Computer Science at SPSU this only angers me that my college is gone after I graduate, but If I was a Engineering Student like Mech, Electrical or Industrial or even Arch. major I would be excessively pissed that a Liberal Arts school is on my degree instead of School known to focus on Engineering. I don't want my school to just be a department and some hippie liberal arts college.
interested observer
November 07, 2013
The numerous grammatical errors in your post suggest that you might actually benefit from a liberal arts education. Welcome to KSU! :)
keep colleges
November 07, 2013
If we stopped trying to force drop outs to graduate from high school, we could shut down half our high schools and spend our money wisely on our colleges, having plenty of money to educate our brightest youths!

Can't we just keep the colleges and let our drop outs drops out from high school?

"No Child Left Behind." WHY? Leave the weak behind. EVEN CATTLE UNDERSTAND THIS. Are we DUMBER than CATTLE?

You can spend your resources pulling the weak along with you further than they should go, but they still just get ate up by a crocodile when they finally have to stand on their own feet, be they two or four.
Step 2
November 07, 2013
Step 1, knock down the SPSU globe

Step 2, replace it with an owl

Step 3, PROFIT

Whoever knocked it down was just saving the Regents a few bucks, since they claim to be so desperate for money.

By the way, how many Regents do we have? I am sure they have nice fat salaries. Perhaps we need two fewer Regents than we have. That would save some serious money!
November 06, 2013
When I read this article I thought the writer had the school wrong... KSU also has a globe outside of one of their buildings on campus. It fell over and collapsed when I was there... maybe the schools aren't so different after all! Secondly, if students want to save SPSU, why would you vandalize your own school? Seems kinda dumb to me!
November 07, 2013
I would guess it's a way to get more attention. Less people are interested in this merger than they are with vandalism. Vandalism is interesting. Make it an iconic piece of art at the center of a university that's vandalized, and you've got more people's attention. Now more people know about the merger and therefore, more people to potentially sign the petition against it.

It was a way to get more attention and it's already worked. It'll work even more in the coming days. Considering a couple of the mass emails I've gotten from SPSU students with very immature protesting suggestions, this doesn't surprise me. Some students are going about this ALL wrong and it's making us look bad. I wish the globe had been covered and hidden immediately and that Rossbacher had requested that no news stories been done on it. It wasn't an accident and the idiots responsible don't deserve the attention no matter how many more signatures they think they will get. I loved that globe.
John Galt
November 07, 2013
Actually they haven't determined who did it or if it was an accident. Don't jump to conclusions.
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