Vandalism is the willful or malicious destruction and/or defacement of property.  It occurs throughout the campus (in academic buildings, residence halls, and parking lots) and surrounding communities.  Vandalism may occur at any time, but it happens more often during weekends and at night.  The damage is often caused by someone who may be under the influence of alcohol and is typically a male and between the ages of 18 and 22.  Many times the vandals claim that they don't know why they caused the damage.  Or, they may give a reason that indicates misplaced anger or frustration from something totally unrelated to the object damaged.  Some even claim vandalism to be a "recreational outlet" with a peer group.

If you witness vandalism, report the persons to the police immediately and assist in the prosecution.  You can remain anonymous if you wish.  However, it may be more difficult for the officer to prosecute the vandal.

Did you know...  In recent years, personal property losses have surpassed $30,000 per year at Penn State. You, as a student paying tuition at Penn State and as a taxpaying citizen, pay for vandalism.


The penalties vary with the amount of damage done.  The Pennsylvania Crimes Code refers to vandalism as "criminal mischief" which is defined as intentionally or recklessly tampering with tangible property of another so as to endanger persons or property.

Damage Amount Offense Maximum Penalty/ Fine
Less than $500 Summary 90 days; $300
$500 to $1,000 Misdemeanor 3 1 year; $2,500
$1000 to $5,000 Misdemeanor 2 2 years; $5,000
Over $5,000 Felony 3 7 years; $15,000