With Picnic Day Parade just a few days away, staff members at the Education Abroad Center are making final preparations for their group’s float. But they will have to march without their prized centerpiece: a giant papier-mâché globe, which vandals destroyed.
EAC Outreach Coordinator Jake Hosier said he lives close to the EAC, located on the corner of Third and A streets, and was driving by the office on the morning of Apr. 5 when he noticed shreds of papier-mâché throughout the street.
Vandals had apparently detached the four-foot diameter globe from its base and rolled it around the street, Hosier said. One side of the globe, whose structure was made out of wood and chicken wire, was completely collapsed, he said.
The globe cannot be repaired in time for the parade, Hosier said.
“It’s one of those things that you don’t expect … to happen in Davis,” Hosier said. “We can’t even have a float in the parade because someone goes and does this kind of stuff. It’s really frustrating and disheartening.”
But this month’s incident is not the first time the globe has been attacked. After making its debut in last year’s Picnic Day Parade, the EAC staff left the globe in front of their office. It remained there without incident until Halloween, when vandals ripped off half of the papier-mâché, Hosier said.
EAC students and staff spent days repairing the globe, only to see it destroyed beyond repair this month, said Education Abroad program coordinator Rosana Avila. Seven people dedicated an entire weekend to build the globe structure, another day to papier-mâchéand two more days to paint the globe.
Avila said EAC staff did not report this month’s incident to campus police but may look into other measures to prevent vandalism in the future.
The culprits were probably intoxicated and did not consider the ramifications of their acts, Hosier said.
“Our actions have an impact,” he said. “What may have seemed to them like a night of fun, seems to us like a destruction of a week’s worth of time, energy, fun and excitement.”
Avila said EAC partnered with Services for International Students and Scholars for the parade. The globe was going to open the parade with international students marching behind it while waving their native flags.
Last year’s parade was the first in which the EAC participated. EAC staff decided to participate in the parade to remind students that studying abroad is an option, Hosier said.
“So many people come back from Davis that were studying abroad, [and] we love to show them we’re still doing it,” he said. “Many students say that studying abroad was the most important thing they did as an undergrad.”
Approximately 75 organizations will participate in this year’s parade, said Picnic Day vice chair Joey Almario. Eligible organizations include campus departments, nonprofitsand marching bands from other universities. The ceremonies begin Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with the parade following at 10:10 a.m.
Despite losing their globe, EAC staff members are resolutely making final preparations for altered parade plans. They’ll even have a globe – albeit a slightly different one.
“We’re going to decorate a truck,” Hosier said. “One of my students has volunteered to dress up as a globe, and we will have that globe and we will be in the parade.”
However, the papier-mâché globe isn’t permanently out of work, Hosier said.
“We’re going to rebuild that thing,” he said. “We’ll be in it next year.”
PATRICK McCARTNEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.