Students, some maturity please

It seems as if almost everyone I speak to is always eager to read the Bag O’ Crime listings in The Cord each week to have a laugh over various kinds of shenanigans that take place on campus each week. While these kinds of features are of interest to all of us because of the controversy and humour they provoke, it is really necessary to take a deeper look at the implications some of the more serious infractions have on our image as university students and young adults.

Let me start off by saying that I have absolutely no problem with students going out and having a good time with friends. It is reasonable to expect that sometimes matters can be taken a bit overboard in the process and we are all to take responsibility for our actions when this occurs. We are all human and part of our experience here at university involves learning important life lessons in addition to our majors. However, I think the extent to which these occurrences have been growing in frequency within our community as we enjoy ourselves on the weekends is grounds for concern.  

By no means do I intend to portray our community as one that is defined by irresponsible behaviour. Everyone is well aware that the student population on campus is growing rapidly in number with each year. With this in mind, I feel that it’s important for us to be aware of the potential for these events to be more likely to occur with a larger student population. 

 It’s probably no surprise when I suggest that heavy alcohol abuse is an issue that leads to serious problems with each weekend that passes during the school year. I can already hear the “we’re in university, what do you expect” responses, but I’m not bashing alcohol consumption in general.

What I have a problem with is seeing some of my peers voluntarily putting themselves in such extreme states of intoxication to the point where they require medical attention. Not only does this make our community a vulnerable target for theft and assault, but it also ties up the scarce resources and time of our city’s emergency services that might not have been able to attend to more critical emergencies not self-invoked. 

Another issue that seems to occur is that of property damage and theft. Does this really need any explanation? Regardless of how much someone has had to drink, or how funny or important they think they are, there is absolutely no excuse for damaging school or private property. I don’t know of anyone who would be appreciative of having a window in their home broken or a bench on their porch mysteriously disappear. Why would any of this change upon coming to university? The petty laughs and associated story are not worth facing the consequences of being reprimanded for theft or harming someone for the sake of humour. 

I am not here to try to impose beliefs upon others as if I possess some higher moral authority. This would be unacceptable and would go against personal choice and responsibility, things I feel very strongly about. What this issue really comes down to is the trouble with the problems created by individuals taking their actions to the point where they deeply endanger the safety and well being of others.

Whether as a culprit facing a hefty punishment, a victim of misconduct or a student who is negatively stereotyped because of the actions of a few with which they happen to share a learning community, harmfully irresponsible behaviour affects everyone’s ability to have a positive university experience.