Is our campus too trusting?



Charlotte Strope | Contributing Writer

On a normal weekday any student entering the Serve is greeted by backpacks stacked against the wall. Sodexo has had to post signs asking students not to stack them in front of doors. It’s nice for athletes who need to rush right to dinner after practice before the Serve closes. It’s also beneficial for any student who doesn’t live in Pierce/White and doesn’t want to lug all their books for the day everywhere.

Students don’t seem worried about having their things taken while they’re eating. And I’ve had friends who forgot their bags in the Serve and the Sodexo staff put it aside for them to claim. Behavior like this would likely not exist on a bigger campus, and is nice to see on a campus this small.

The sense of community Buena Vista University shares is astounding. As a freshman I am greeted daily by administration and professors and the smiles of the students around me. But what is the most striking is the trust this campus has. The community of this campus is so strong that the trust is almost assured. Or, you can say it the other way around and claim that because there is trust, there is community. Either way, it is nice to know our belongings are safe in Sodexo.

That’s not to say that BVU is the safest community, though. Students might remember an email from Resident Life cautioning students to lock their dorms- personal items had gone missing from behind unlocked doors. This is an unfortunate turn of events, when some students endanger this sense of trust on such a small campus, but I encourage students to consider the sense of goodwill some feel when they feel that trust. I – for one- have rooted this deep in my sense of student life, and know I could never take something that isn’t mine.

I have seen laundry sitting out and waiting for its owner to come back to claim it. In the Pierce/White laundry room there is a white collapsible basket full of laundry that’s been sitting there for almost a month now – despite policy stating unclaimed laundry will be taken to Goodwill. I haven’t seen people rooting through it or even move it to the floor. Coincidences with my friends have returned sweatshirts and socks to rightful owners; it’s the coolest thing to hear about and see. And just serves to remind that the world is round and our campus is small enough that what is lost may be returned.

However, because some students don’t share this sense of community with the rest, they have been going into personal spaces and taking things. So I do caution students to protect themselves against unnecessary theft and intrusion and to lock their dorms when not in. I know, personally, because my belongings have never been taken from me, I could never take someone else’s belongings, and I wish everyone shared the same sentiment.

It is unfortunate that we must make sacrifices, but the safety of our personal belongings and space is one of the few things a student can have in college. We, as a campus, should respect that for others and guard each other from loss.

Graphic by Justice Gage