The unnerving future: CSO or Big Brother?

John McDonald, Contributing Writer

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CSO has become a menace on campus and many students feel the comfortable, inviting atmosphere has been replaced by the oppression of Campus Safety. Photo by Anthony Garnier.

CSO. This acronym sends a chill through the bones of students at the University of Dallas. I feel that, in recent years, the Campus Safety Office (CSO) has become a monolithic and oppressive force on this formerly tranquil place of learning and toleration.

Whereever CSO goes, so does the feeling of fear and worry. Gone are the days when students could read their copy of the “Iliad” in the Cap Bar in peace without having to worry about CSO looking over their shoulders.

Many students should remember the infamous “Ice Cream Incident of 2015,” in which a man, who shall remain anonymous, but for the sake of this article, we will call him “James,” was apprehended by CSO after sneaking in the cafeteria after hours in an attempt to pour himself a simple ice cream cone. Later, witnesses claim to have seen James walking back to Old Mill with his head down and a write-up slip in hand.

This kind of abuse is unacceptable at UD. One cannot even sneak into a cafeteria to try to procure himself a midnight snack without feeling threatened. Incidents like these don’t only directly hurt those parties involved, but the campus as a whole.

An equally disturbing incident was reported last semester when, another student who shall remain nameless, but we will call him “Liam,” was written up by CSO for smoking in the library. UD should be a safe space for students like Liam.

I feel that CSO is disrupting Liam’s learning environment through its enforcement of the rules and policies. It is a tragedy that Liam cannot enjoy the genius of Dante while puffing on a Marlboro Red in the soothing confines of the library.  This situation is a slippery slope. I feel that soon the library will become a place where people like James will not be able to eat their ice cream cones or even sip a refreshing Bud Light. I would not be surprised to see a drop in students’ GPAs resulting from CSO’s intrusion into the academic environment.

Not only is CSO a menace in the classroom, but it is also a menace in the streets. CSO has been repeatedly spotted slowly prowling the streets of campus in its dark SUV to take money from helpless car owners who do not have a silly sticker on their windshield. It is not uncommon for students to fail to pay their tuition because of heavy parking fines.

And where is this money going? Well, the new roomy, fuel-efficient Ford Escape patrol car that CSO purchased must have come from the wallets of innocent UD students. CSO rolls around in a practical, yet luxurious, SUV, while certain students are stuck driving old and rusty white minivans.

CSO must be held accountable for its actions. I feel that we cannot have a peaceful and unthreatening campus with CSO lurking around every corner. We must put the power back into the hands of students instead of power-hungry officers, not for my sake, but for the sake of this prestigious institution of higher learning.

Disclaimer: This is the April Fools’ edition of the paper. All stories are fictitious in nature.

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