Ever hear the saying, “when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me?”
It’s a good saying.
Over four years ago, an American college student studying abroad in Italy was arrested for the brutal murder of her British roommate. In what seemed like an instant, the media exploded with stories of the accused’s sex and drug escapades around the Italian city of Perugia, her dishonest nature and, most importantly, her moral conflict with the innocent victim. It was all too scandelous not to be true.
And we all agreed, at least at first.
Now that Amanda Knox, 24 years old and with four years of her life wasted in a foreign prison, has been declared innocent, it is so easy to say that we knew it all along. For most of us however (including yours truly), this would be a lie.
On a much smaller and more personal scale than the Knox case, recent events at the College prove even further that some opinions are just made too hastily without a lot of input from the other side.
The day after a student was reported to have been sexually assaulted on Sept. 28, 34-year-old Sak Chow was taken into custody and subsequently banned by the College. Students everywhere began declaring that A), the student was stupid for getting into a car with her assailant, and B) that they were glad Chow had been banned from campus.
I’m not necessarily saying Chow did not commit the offense, but I am saying that the man is innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, none of us can possibly know what exactly was going through the student’s head at the time; it is foolish of us then to instantly say that the young woman was stupid.
Then of course there’s the fact that the “victim” of the sexual assault case from Aug. 31 recently changed her story drastically. The case has been dropped, but now any future sexual assault victims (which hopefully will be very scarce) run the risk of others assuming they are also lying. Moreover, we can speculate all we want about what why the original story may have been fabricated, but because we don’t have all the facts, this would again be jumping to conclusions.
On a different note, many of us have by now seen ABC 6’s video on students of the College and their affect on local residents living near campus. It is unfortunately rather one-sided.
Local residents who do not personally know students may assume that they are detrimental to their personal lives and therefore may not be able to see all the good students do for the community. Likewise, the same goes for students who are not too familiar with local residents. The whole situation seems to be getting a bit tense, and all because those on each side have not bothered to get all the facts, much less take into account the opposing view.
As challenging as it can be sometimes, we do have the capacity to form our own unique and educated opinions. Let’s not rush to make assumptions.