Theft at College Reflects Poor Student Attitude

To the Editor:

I agree wholeheartedly with some of the comments made by John Strayer ’96 in Friday’s issue of The Dartmouth (“Moral from a Headless Snow Sculpture, Feb.18), particularly those regarding students who are stealing.

Ironically, I was talking with a friend of mine Friday, before reading The Dartmouth, about how frustrated I was by the petty thefts on campus. Trying to get some malt vinegar at The Hopkins Center last week was about as successful as John’s attempt to make a call from the stolen phone in Collis. Seeing his column was surprising, but it reassured me that others feel the same way. Taking things, whether it is for convenience or for a prank, is stealing, it is that simple.

Worse than malt vinegar and student phones are the computers down in the basement of Kiewit Computation Center. Have you ever tried to drag down a menu bar, only to be frutrated because the mouse is too battered to register small movements? Well, if Kiewit would put out mousepads, the mice wouldn’t break. But Kiewit can’t leave out mousepads, because they would get stolen faster than they could be replaced. Why is it that Dartmouth students, young men and women well on their way to adulthood, can’t be trusted to not steal a $5 item?

Lately there has been talk about the Student Assembly-organized boycott of Dartmouth Dining Services and how DDS is “ripping us off.” If we hadn’t stolen so much food from Full Fare before things were tightened up three years ago, maybe DDS wouldn’t have to pass off huge costs to us. Or how about silverware, plates and cups? According to DDS, more than 144 dozen teaspoons had been stolen from Thayer by the eighth week of this past Fall term. That’s more than 1,700 spoons. Someone has to pay for it, eventually. Students should either go buy a set of silverware or stop complaining about DDS gouging. By stealing from DDS, they are ripping us all off.

Students complain that the administration treats us like children. Is it any wonder? A student comment card I saw in Topside the other day asked why there were so many security cameras, making the store feel like a prison. I agree. Let’s get rid of the cameras by making them unnecessary.

RICH FRIED ’94

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