In response to the growing concern over police checking the bags of students on campus, I gathered some important comments of my own. I fully believe it is well in everyone’s right to stand up for causes they believe in, especially when it comes to their rights. Campus Police has begun searching bags and I do not have the slightest problem with it. Is it a hassle? Does it make my two minute walk back to my room possibly extend to four minutes? Sure. But why fight against security unless you have something to hide?
I’d bet the vast majority of people against this “intrusive searching of bags” are under the age of 21. But, they’re just standing up for their liberty! Justice! And other words we shall use to embody American values.
There has been speculation that the College might be sued for lack of an enforced alcohol prevention policy. Well, when students go off campus to drink it slightly inhibits the College from doing its part. So the College must take measures against underage alcohol consumption where it can.
A Campus Police officer can’t stop you while you’re walking and “force” you to open your bag. You can politely say no. No harm, no foul. If they’re at the desks upon entering or exiting the dorm buildings, then you’re out of luck. It’s simply ramped up security that is necessary.
Also, while we’re on the topic of student rights, what about my rights? I am a non-drinker on campus. Does that mean I have no rights, no friends and no social life? I must be subjected week after week to the continuing dimwitted, asinine actions of some of my peers. I don’t constantly want to have to go to the library to study or do homework or even to sleep for the night. Yet this is one of the only quiet places that I can find on campus.
Now, how have I personally been affected by all of this? Last year in my freshman dorm, many residents participated in underage drinking. This led to countless actions such as unspeakable shower activities, public defecation and physical harm.
Some drank to unhealthy levels frequently. The College should find such habitual offenders and start up a nice Alcoholics Anonymous group on campus. We can have these people do some community service or even do some work with Sodexho. Give them a hand. I think we could find some room in the budget for that.
The biggest problem of all that I experienced was the two counts of defecation that occurred on my floor last year. Those of you that lived through it already know my feelings on this topic. This is not the type of action that someone would do if sober.
The first act took place on top of a community television in the lounge. The TV was donated by one of the students living on the floor for the enjoyment of everyone. The TV was defecated on and the student then urinated on the wall. The room had to be cleaned, which cut off use of the lounge for an extended period of time, and it was added to my housing bill at the end of the year. The culprit was never found, so the cleaning bill was spread evenly among the floor residents.
The second occurrence, the more malicious of the two, occurred in one of the shower stalls.
You might ask: But how is that worse than on a TV? I am in no way condoning either act, but one could reasonably see that perhaps someone (drunk) was watching TV and really really had to go. There’s no bathroom in sight and TV programming is bad to begin with. But to “conduct one’s business” in the shower, one would have to knowingly walk past four toilets to get to the shower. They could not all have been taken. This person knowingly soiled the good name of shower stall No. 3.
Most recently, this year, I received a knock my on door. Two men holding clipboards were standing outside my door and asked, “Is that yours?” And I responded, “Is what mine?” He proceeded to look down and I followed his action and we arrived upon the sight of a crushed can of Keystone Light. I took a step back in disbelief and clearly said, “No, that is not mine.” My door had been closed the entire day as I had been working on a project for one of my classes. The stupid actions of one (or a few) nearly incriminated me and caused me to appear as if I was an immature, needy, self-conscious child with low self-esteem.
In reading the petition “Appeal to Kathy Leverton, Associate Vice President of Administrative and Environmental Services,” one line states, “The relationship between students and police officers in this community should and must be one of utmost mutual respect and trust.” This is a perfectly valid point of view. Cops don’t trust students when they know that people attempt to smuggle in alcohol in various ways. Does this mean they don’t trust all students? No, but they have to check bags where they can. It’s nothing personal. Students are claiming infringements upon liberty to try to get around the law. The College is just increasing campus security as a whole.
I have no problem if they even want to check bags when trying to get into and leave buildings and the campus. Students who obey the law, while they may be inconvenienced from time to time, truly have nothing to worry about.
In conclusion, underage drinking is a rampant problem on our campus and needs to be stopped. If the College is going to be held liable for every instance of student irresponsibility, then I fully support the actions the College has taken.
Many students are whining that it’s against their liberties for cops to search for and, in some cases, find their illegal alcohol. I see no problem with obeying the law.
The College’s policy on screening bags not only enforces the law but it protects the rights and liberties of all the non-drinkers on campus. Students participating in underage drinking to a point of drunkenness where the idea of public defecation seems like a good idea is irresponsible, harmful, and illegal. Good for the College for finally taking a stand on searching students and making the campus a safer place.
I’d like to end in a quote for you to ponder: “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”