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Lowell Dining Hall Vandalized

Intruders cause $1,000 in damage to door, spill cereal across floor

By Rebecca D. O’brien, Crimson Staff Writer

’Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through Lowell House, some large creatures were stirring and not one was a mouse.

Early in the morning on Saturday, Dec. 11, unknown intruders broke into the serving area of Lowell dining hall, causing $1,000 in damages and leaving cereal containers with their contents spread across the floor.

“Such damage jeopardizes our ability to leave the dining hall open on a continuing basis for study since neither the House or HUDS can sustain the costs associated with the repair and clean up from such events,” Lowell House Senior Tutor John “Jay” Ellison wrote in an e-mail to the House community yesterday.

“It really cannot be considered anything less than malicious vandalism and it is very disappointing when such things happen,” Ellison wrote in an e-mail to The Crimson.

Ellison said there were no leads or information on the incident, as of yesterday evening, from students or the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD).

“House administrators and the HUPD do not take these incidents as pranks and will treat them as what they are,” HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano said.

The forcible entry of the serving area caused “significant damage” to the door frames, totaling $1,000, according to Ellison.

Budget cuts have forced Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) to scrimp and save—including on cereals, which just this semester have been switched to generic brands.

Ellison pointed to fiscal concerns as a serious complication resulting from the break-in.

Cereal returned to the dining hall the day of the break-in and neither dining hall workers nor students were alerted of the incident before yesterday.

“The House was very disappointed that someone would do this and we are hopeful that it will not happen ever again,” Ellison wrote in an e-mail to The Crimson.

Catalano said someone also broke into the Dunster dining hall kitchen early on Dec. 11, but that nothing appeared to have been stolen.

He said it was unlikely that the two incidents were connected.

—Staff writer Jenifer L. Steinhardt contributed to the reporting of this story.

—Staff writer Rebecca D. O’Brien can be reached at

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