Section: Editorial

Staff editorial

Given the nonchalance that often characterizes students’ relationships with their possessions and others, we are not surprised that the last few weeks have shown a recent increase in theft on campus, particularly from student residences and motor vehicles, according to Director of Campus Safety Bob Hooper.

It is unfair to generalize the entire student body when many students take much care to keep themselves and their belongings safe. But, in our years at Kenyon, we have found that open doors, unlocked windows and unattended backpacks are rampant. Students need to watch over their belongings. We are a small community here, and even though we feel like we know everyone else, we are far from immune to theft.

In a sense, destruction and theft of property is glorified on this campus. Overly intoxicated students talk about the College and student property they steal, the furniture they damage, the surfaces they vandalize. There is an undertone of disrespect for objects that belong to the public and to others, which can lead to a blasé attitude about theft.

There is a similarly indifferent attitude about protecting one’s possessions. Apartment residents keep their windows unlocked so students can climb in without having to carry a key. Students leave their backpacks on couches and chairs in isolated areas of Peirce Hall while getting food from the servery.

Approximately 43 percent of students receive need-based financial aid, according to the Kenyon website, fewer than half the students here. Kenyon is obviously a privileged community. This shows when students don’t lock their doors or they leave their bags completely unattended. They are operating under the assumption that no one will take their belongings. If someone does, they will just buy a replacement.

This is unfair to students who loan a friend their jacket and do not have the ability to buy another when it is taken from an Old Kenyon party. It is unfair to students who cannot afford a new laptop when their apartment is broken into, after a housemate leaves the window open.

While students are becoming increasingly respectful to those unlike themselves, that sentiment has not yet translated into respect for objects. It is sad that there are individuals here who make it necessary to operate with such caution, but theft is a reality everywhere. Students are young adults — take some more responsibility for yourselves and others.


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