Editorial: Crime, disrespect are on the rise

We have received a lot of feedback about the negative articles crowding the front page of The Villanovan. Apartment parties ending in burglary, stolen hood ornaments and fistfights on West campus have had plenty of nasty company in the first five weeks considering the turbulent summer the University suffered.

But please, don’t blame the messenger.

The Villanovan is hardly trying to sell papers by glorifying the horrible acts which have plagued the campus of late. The fact is, crime is getting to be a recurring problem on campus. When in the course of a couple of weeks two nasty incidents occur – the theft of money and goods in a St. Clare apartment and what can only be described as the beating of a student in front of that same building – it becomes evident that the University has a problem.

The main problem, however, is not violent crime – the past few weeks indicate a spike of criminal activity that is likely short-lived. The real issue is a lack of respect for fellow students and the University itself. For instance, over the past two weeks a number of students owning Volkswagons reported that the “VW” hood ornaments had been removed from their cars while parked on University property. The ornaments were later recovered from a dormitory room.

This is a perfect example of a stupid crime. What are the perpetrators getting out of it? A cheap hood ornament. The degree of annoyance that the car owner has to endure in return for the fleeting pleasure that the thief enjoys doesn’t add up. As members of a community that prides itself on respect for others, it is disappointing that several have decided to engage in such behavior.

Another good example of disrespect on the part of students is the mud wrestling that took place as hurricane Isabel passed over the area last Thursday evening. Students tore up part of a grassy field near Katharine Hall on South campus and proceeded to host a large mud fight. This was not done with violence in mind, but it created headaches for many RAs and custodial workers in the residence halls when the students headed home coated with mud that many eagerly spread to doors, walls, floors and showers without bothering to clean it up.

The college years are often remembered as a last chance for having a good time before entering the adult world, but we would hope that a student would recognize the difference between fun and reckless activity that harms others. Hopefully, the few who fail to realize the difference can look to the upstanding majority for an example to emulate.