Student Union Building staff noticed two paintings of president Harry Truman were missing Jan. 24.
One of the missing paintings was over the fireplace in the Hub, and the other was from the second floor east stairwell.
As of now, the paintings are still missing. The missing paintings add to the ongoing conversation of placing security cameras at key points on campus.
The person who first noticed that one of the paintings was missing was Corinna McFall, assistant director of the student union.
McFall’s office door faces toward the fireplace in the SUB Hub where one of the paintings hung. McFall said when she saw the painting was missing from her viewpoint in her office, she began asking around the Student Union Building office about it.
No one on staff knew of any reason for the painting to be removed, such as cleaning or maintenance. Teresa West, the building manager of the Student Union, then went around the building to look for the painting and noticed that a second painting of Harry Truman was missing from the second floor east stairwell.
There are currently no immediate plans to place any replacement art in place of the missing paintings. McFall mentioned the SUB has some art that could be placed in those spots, but they would need the proper hanging tools.
The search for the paintings is currently in the hands of the Truman State University Department of Public Safety. McFall made a report with DPS the day the paintings were first noticed to be missing.
Sara Seifert, director of the Department of Public Safety, said when DPS began the case, they first looked to see if any security cameras may have caught the event happening. Seifert said DPS found that there are not any security cameras in the SUB Hub or in the stairwell. DPS found that Einstein Bagels, operated by Sodexo, faces the Hub and has a security camera. However, a security curtain is pulled over the storefront when it is closed, which prevented any way to see the painting being taken.
Seifert said the next step would be to find pictures of the paintings. DPS would then turn to the public for help in finding the paintings by putting pictures of them on social media. On the social media post, there is a link to a silent witness form for anyone wanting to remain anonymous with a tip on the location of the paintings. The posts have been made to both Instagram and Facebook.
There were no official pictures of the paintings, so DPS turned to the University Photographer to see if they had any pictures with the paintings in the background.
The estimated value of the paintings that DPS was given is $400 and $250. Seifert mentioned that there have been some cases of vandalism in public buildings on campus as a part of viral trends.
The conversation of bringing in security cameras to campus has been growing, and there is currently a selection committee that is deciding on where to place some new cameras. The target goal is to get the first round of video security cameras installed around August of this year.
Seifert, a member of the selection committee for the security cameras, said currently the highest point of crime on campus is the parking lots. Because of this, the committee plans to place the new security cameras within the parking lots during the first phase of cameras.
Seifert said the next phase of cameras would be more inside campus buildings.
The committee is composed of Seifert and one of her sergeants, Jeremy Cordray. Also involved are two members of Information Technology Services, Jon Cline and Jim McNabb, as well as Sam Guth, the director of the Physical Plant.
The project will cost over $5000, so it has been put out to bid. This process has been in the works since last November, Seifert said. The committee is currently working with various companies to decide which company’s bid will best fit the needs of the campus.