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Monday, Dec 5, 2022

Destruction of Proctor milk machine injures employee

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When Krysta Rainey, a servery worker in Proctor Dining Hall, reported to work early Thursday morning, she noticed that the milk machine that normally sits in the corner of the hall was damaged. Upon inspection of the bags of milk inside the machine, one of the bags exploded, injuring Rainey’s left shoulder. 

According to Dan Detora, executive director of food service operations, the milk machine had a large dent on the front corner, the back panel had fallen off and the handles were damaged beyond use. Nothing else in the dining hall was damaged. 

“My guess is that [the machine] was pushed off the counter,” Detora said in an email to The Campus.

The damage to the machines is being investigated as an act of vandalism by Department of Public Safety (DPS) Investigator Lee Hodsden. 

“I was upset and angry,” Rainey said in an interview with The Campus about her injury that resulted from the incident. As of Monday afternoon, she said her injury, which she described as feeling like a pulled muscle, had improved but was still bothering her. She did not seek treatment for it. 

The college rents the milk machines from Monument Farms and will ultimately have to pay for the damages, Detora said. It is not yet known how much it will cost to replace the machines. 

“I just don’t understand the reason for such behavior. [It] seems very disrespectful to our hard working staff,” Detora said. “We hope that it is a one-time incident.” 

It is unclear how the person responsible for the vandalism entered Proctor Dining Hall, and it is not known for certain that a Middlebury student was responsible for the damage. According to Associate Director of Public Safety Keith Ellery, the exterior doors to Proctor lock at 8:30 p.m., meaning only authorized students and staff can enter the building. After 11 p.m., only authorized staff has access. 

“There were no signs or indication of forced entry into Proctor,” Ellery said in an email.

“An interior door was found unsecured and could have provided access to the area where the vandalism occurred. As part of normal operations, DPS officers check the exterior doors of many campus buildings, including Proctor, during the course of their shift.” 

There are no video cameras in the vicinity of Proctor Dining Hall and therefore no video footage of the incident. As of Tuesday afternoon, DPS had no suspects in their investigation. Anyone wishing to provide helpful information regarding this incident are asked to contact DPS at (802) 443-5133.