Published September 18, 2013
It seems Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” music video – in which she rides a big metal wrecking ball in her birthday suit – not only caused parents to roll their eyes, but became a potential safety hazard for college students.
On Tuesday, administrators at the Grand Valley State University in Michigan removed a wrecking ball sculpture – called a bifilar pendulum – from the campus of the liberal arts university, after student parodies of the Cyrus video became a cause for concern.
According to an online statement issued by the university, students recently began climbing on the pendulum art piece, causing its cable to fray.
At least one student had been photographed riding the campus art naked, and several others posted videos of themselves doing their best Cyrus impersonations. And it seems college-goers aren’t taking the removal of the ball without a protest.
The twitter account GVSU Wrecking Ball, @GVSUball, has been a place for students to post about their “wrecking ball” experiences and insist it be brought back by spreading the hashtag #reinstalltheball.
“Can't sleep knowing the ball is not at home!” tweeted one, as another lamented “School traditions shouldn't die because a few people act like morons.”
The sculpture – which hangs from a 15-foot steel cable – was installed in the Kirkhof Center in 1974, where it hung for six years, and it was later installed near Padnos Hall of Science in 1995. Now, it has been taken to an off-campus storage unit. GSVU also noted that officials had been mulling over what to do with the structure even before Cyrus’ video debut last week.
“We’ll have a structural engineer review the installation and provide an assessment of the load on the beam – particularly when there is added weight. Safety is our main concern,” said Associate Vice President of Facilities Services Tim Thimmesch. “We hope the pendulum can be reinstalled at that location or at another suitable location on campus.”