This is a guest post from Noah Berman ’13. As always, we encourage anyone with an idea, story, video, recipe, etc. to send us their work at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll consider it for a guest post!
I ride my bike a lot. I’m not, however, a cyclist. I don’t even really ride it for exercise. I ride my bike to get from point A to point B. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s convenient. It is, quite literally, the most perfect form of human powered transportation ever invented, purely in terms of conservation of energy. And I’m a nice guy. Anyone who knows me would probably agree. I can be an ass, but its almost always in good fun. Of course, I do have moments of less than admirable behavior, but any slip I make is usually unintentional, the consequence of taking a joke too far or some such mistake. I make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes.
In light of the recent uproar over Delta house, dorm damage has come to fore of the college consciousness. A certain amount of damage is inevitable: someone microwaves tinfoil or spills wine on a carpet. Mistakes. Mistakes are understandable, for to err is to be human. But smashing a light fixture is not a mistake. Destroying nearly twice the dollar amount of allotted property is not a mistake. Lets just consider that for a second. They were given an allotment of property to destroy, and that amount was exceeded. Middlebury, in essence, sanctified a prescribed amount of damage, said “you can break this much stuff, but no more…” And they broke more. Middlebury prides itself on churning out well-rounded students, students ready to become productive members of society. What sort of society tells a young man that he can destroy with impunity up to a limit, at which point he is immediately penalized? Certainly not one that hopes him to be productive. Not one that expects him to deal well with taking responsibility. Read more