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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Large decoration stolen from business center

Friday, February 15, 2008  
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By Emmalee Mattern

According to "Talon" sources, two unknown individuals from Oklahoma Christian University walked out of the Harvey Business Center the first week of the 2008 spring semester carrying the building lobby's main piece of décor: a five foot tall, multicolored vase filled with a flower arrangement.

The vase went missing for an entire month and was secretly returned Feb. 8 to its original home of at least three years atop the glass table, just past the main entrance doors to HBC.

The vanishing vase was reported missing to security about three weeks ago by the woman who helped in the purchasing of the vase and the arrangement of the flowers within it.

The vase itself is around three feet high, and colored in an assortment of sponged hues ranging from green, beige, black, brown and blue. It has handles on either side of it in the form of snakes. The flower arrangement adds at least another foot and a half to its height.

"It's the ugliest vase you have ever seen. I even offered money [to someone] to get rid of it… as much as $25 at one time, even if they were to push it over and break it," an anonymous source said.

But this anonymous source isn't the only individual holding this sort of sentiment of tolerance toward the so-called "vile vessel." It has in fact been a mutually standing joke among a few of the business personnel, anonymous sources said.

"Security's going to tighten because of this incident," senior marketing major Amanda Hillman said. "It's not fair to students who are innocent and who need to study. We need that area [Harvey Business Center] to study with groups."

While freshmen and sophomores may commit large portions of studying time in the student center or the library, upper classmen spend a great deal of their time studying at Harvey Business Center because of its convenient proximity to the campus apartments.

There are no security cameras located within this section (the main entrance lobby) of the building, so there is no way security officers could attempt to find those responsible through visual evidence. The search for the absent vase continued on in fervent investigation, creating a pressing cause for possible felony charges based on accounts of theft and burglary.

"If it was a stolen item, why wouldn't those who did the "stealing" have stolen something else? If it was attempted theft, why that?" Hillman said. "What is the value of the vase?"

Business students such as Amanda have noticed as recently as Feb. 3 that the building has been locking up at night much earlier than usual, although they didn't initially put much thought toward it. This lock-down causes an inconvenience to students wishing to find a solitary place of study on campus and usually find it within this academic building. The inconvenience may or may not be linked with the missing vase.

Oklahoma Christian's security department was making major efforts at retrieving the vase. They were vexed by the stolen property, until it was "returned," Director of Security Larry Fields said.

"This was apparently a college prank," Fields said.

"I don't know why someone would do this, but I think it's funny. It would be silly if this incident came down to criminal charges though, just silly," senior Clint Skelton said,

Skelton wants to know how two people could simply walk out of the building carrying the vase and still manage to get past "our crack team of security officers."

This lingering question poses itself to be especially true, particularly because the vase was allegedly carried out in view of roughly two hundred other students after a class in the building was let out.

According to the administrative assistant of the college of business, Cynthia Helmuth, this isn't the first time something has gone missing. Security cameras are not placed in any part of the area and there are easy access doors on the east and west side of the building.

"The first word that came to mind is 'ridiculous'," senior Roxie Maloy said of the disappearance. "But at the same time, I see where [security] are coming from in that it is a stupid prank to be pulling."

But despite a few students' doubts on whether it would be returned, the vase was indeed restored to its original home.

Those who performed the stunt have not yet come forward; those uninvolved, but who know who the perpetrators are, have decided to remain anonymous. According to these anonymous sources, the vase did not sit idle while in the hands of its kidnappers.

Sources said the vase made appearances to apartments, dorm rooms and maybe a couple club meetings before it finally made its reappearance in assistant professor of business Jody Jones' office the night of Feb. 7.

"It's really easy to see. There's no way you wouldn't notice someone walking out with it," Jones said. "This means they walked back in the building with it in broad daylight, and nobody noticed…again."

Dean of students Neil Arter commented on the whole situation as confusing, as well as a bit humorous.

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