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Today, I stood in the quadrangle, anxious to set my backpack down so that I might give my body a rest from its burden of books. However, I did not feel safe setting my bag down anywhere. Unfortunately, this sentiment is far too strong at Menlo—and it is by no means ungrounded. Ever since last year, when a Menlo student had his car keys stolen from his backpack and his car driven right out of the Menlo parking lot, I realized the school was to some degree a breeding gound for crime. Many people have had books and binders stolen, and, not long ago, a woman was raped on this very campus. Menlo has never claimed to be a sanctuary; however, many students may not realize that Menlo not only is not a haven, but rather a perfect matrix for crime. Moreover, much of its crime can be traced to its very students. This can be attributed partially to attitudes of certain student-criminals, as well as to the the bureaucracy of the administration and the disciplinary committee.

The maxim which states that rich people are more inclined to steal, although worn out, is incredibly valid in this situation. Perhaps this principle is more valid when we realize that we at Menlo are witnessing the children of the wealthy, who do not realize the true value of money, and, thus, have absolutely no respect for the property of others. As a result, we are forced to watch our backs at all times, for we never know when another student will strike; I never set my backpack down, for fear that the Menlo monster (that of kleptomania) will descend and magically cause my valuables to vanish. Yes, it is true that students cannot be trusted; they are more selfish than they appear to be. Nowhere else does such widespread backstabbing, slandering, and criticizing of peers dominate the community than at Menlo. It is this selfish attitude, combined with the common disrespect of property, which develops the common Menlo attitude that stealing is acceptable.

However, more severe crimes are committed on the Menlo campus, which can be attributed to the laissez-faire attitude of the administration in granting adequate punishments to deserving delinquents. A faculty member informed our staff today that drug deals in the Menlo parking lot are so extensive that students from other schools frequent the Menlo parking lot to buy narcotics. Although this can be attributed to students’ ignorance and irresponsibility, much of the burden lies on the administration and the precedent it has set with its approach it has taken to drug-related incidents in the past. Traditionally, Menlo has been known to grant light punishments to children of MSA homemakers and wealthy families; unfortunately, it is precisely these students who are shattering school rules and federal regulations right and left. Until Menlo accepts the fact that every student deserves equal punishment, regardless of whether she has a building named after her or not, these student-criminals will continue to take advantage of the administration, as well as the rest of the student body.

Too many people who have been caught in violation of school policy and federal regulations still attend Menlo; it is our task as members of this community to ensure that such injustices never occur again. Anyone who is guilty of possessing or being under the influence of controlled substances, including alcohol (hello, Menlo alcoholics—we have our eyes on you), should be expelled from the school, no questions asked. Furthermore, anyone who is caught stealing should be expelled from the school. Both are crimes under federal regulations; by refusing to enforce harsh punishments on these student-criminals, Menlo administration is in violation of the United States Constitution, it is teaching dispicable morals to its students, and it is aggravating the problem of student crime. Menlo’s administration of justice and the disciplinary committee are in dire need of reform.

The first step to this reform is removing student council members from this committee. Many student government officers are known to engage in the use of narcotics and alcohol; therefore, it would be counterintuitive to have such criminals on the disciplinary committee—there’s definitely no more efficient way to induce corruption than to appoint criminals to a committee dedicated to the administration of justice, and the student government is not free from the presence of these criminals. As we cannot be completely sure which students are criminals, we must exclude other students from the committee. Furthermore, we must make sure to bar those who might have ulterior motives, such as administrators ho might benefit from a “coincidental” (timely) parent donation. Therefore, the ideal members of the disciplinary committee would be neutral faculty members (those who do not know the student or parents) and the admissions committee. After all, what better method for expulsion than to have students exit through the same “door” they entered?

It is irritating to see students receive favortism, yet it is evident everywhere—in student council, for one, but also evident in the rulings of the disciplinary committee, which show incredible short-sightedness and insensitivity to the law-abiding faction of Menlo. It is a shame we cannot review last year’s cases and expel the criminals which still attend Menlo; in addition, it is a travesty that we do not expel thieves. Although the administration continues to practice injustice, this can be changed; it is not too late to save Menlo from moral oblivion. Menlo students—to those of you who are criminals, I advise yourelves to turn yourselves in, or refrain from your filthy and repulsive activities which seem to be so popular at Menlo; to the law-abiding students, you are urged to reform this corrupt administration of justice in an effort to reduce crime on the Menlo campus — unless you are the child of wealthy parents or MSA homemakers, you may be the next victim of a random act of aggression, perpetrated by our “disciplinary comittee.”


This page created for The Subterranean Crusader by John W. Earl. Last modified January 28, 1996.