But the school administration removed the statue Tuesday morning after Vine videos of students riding the ball made the rounds on social media and on a GVSU Wrecking Ball Twitter account.
LOOK HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE RIDING ME @Grand_Valley17— GVSU Wrecking Ball (@GVSUWreckingBal) September 14, 2013
Tim Thimmesch, the associate vice president of facilities services, said in a statement that the pendulum had been removed for safety reasons.
"We've been reviewing this over the last couple of weeks, trying to decide whether we really need to look at structural integrity of the installation," he said. "We decided to have the ball removed and put into storage for now."
Though he acknowledged that Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" video seemed to have increased the number of students riding the ball, he wouldn't tell reporters whether the Vine videos had anything to do with its removal.
Sensing an opportunity to take a stand against perceived injustice, GVSU students planned a protest around the empty pit where the pendulum statue used to be. They have documented their efforts to bring the ball back on the Wrecking Ball's Twitter feed using the hashtag #reinstalltheball.
I don't blame Miley for getting our ball taken away, I thank her for making us famous ;)— GVSU Wrecking Ball (@GVSUWreckingBal) September 18, 2013