Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A death threat and a parent's prayer

I mostly write about the positive side of life in Anderson Hall because that is what I mostly experience. Even fire alarm evacuations – there have been mercifully few this fall – have their positive side. There is a certain South Side bonding that this experience of shared misery creates. But dorm life has its dark side too. Yesterday morning, AU’s student newspaper, The Eagle, greeted us with a front page banner headline. Students had tried to smuggle a keg of beer past the Anderson Hall front desk in a duffle bag. Later, Resident Assistants had broken up a raucous, alcohol fueled party in the adjoining dorm, Centennial. Names were taken and incident reports, which are the first step in a disciplinary hearing, were filed.

But this was not the end of it. Later, a death threat was written on the white board on one resident assistant’s door. Later still, the resident assistant was awakened by a sound at the door. A written death threat had been tacked there with a sharp knife. District of Colombia Police were called. An investigation has been initiated. Hopefully, it will not only lead to expulsion from the university, but more severe sanctions.

In my four plus years of Anderson Hall living, this was a first. But it is hardly a surprise that seventeen to twenty-two year old men and women sometimes exercise egregiously bad judgment. They become preoccupied with the excitement of a moment. They are swayed by the bad judgment of their peers. Their human sensibilities are clouded by drugs, alcohol or physical passions. They act without regard for risks and long term consequences. And most often, they pay the price. I can remember many instances when I drank to excess and took potentially life changing risks. Fortunately I survived these most perilous - and most exciting – years of my life without irreparable harm.

That is what parents pray for. Mostly, our prayers are answered, but not always.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That all sounds pretty harsh, though fun, with the exception of the death threat that you write of.

I am curious: what music do you listen to?

7:09 PM  
Blogger dormgrandpop said...

The occasional comments I receive always interest me. My musical tastes are ecclectic, ranging from Baroque, to contemporary, espcially country and western. John Denver, Peter Paul and Mary, Emmy Lou Harris, Iris Dament are particular favorites.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former RA, I can attest to the fact that sometimes students who have been "caught" can take their retaliation too far. It's a shame. RAs truly don't enjoy ruining people's nights. We'd much rather have a warm, inclusive community on our floors.

Also as an alum, I love reading your blog to keep up on what's going on at AU. Bravo! :)

11:23 AM  

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