Get the Police Off Of Our Campus

Too often have I heard stories of police officers on campus that I find disturbing and alarming. Who hasn’t been accosted without merit? Who hasn’t themselves or had a friend who has gotten in trouble with the law on shaky legal grounds? Who hasn’t had a cop try to trick them into confessing guilt or turning over evidence against them for a minor drug or alcohol charge? Who hasn’t suffered some sort of abuse on the part of those in charge of enforcing the law? Yet I do not disagree with a police presence on campus solely because of some distrust of officers of the law. On the contrary, I feel that, while there are a few bad apples among their numbers, most police are good-natured and well intentioned. And while these occasional incidences of unsavory conduct colors my view on the matter, there is a much deeper issue at hand. I object because I feel like there is an injustice in having to tolerate an arm of the government among us at all times. I find the presence of police within the confines of the university as disturbing as if I found an officer of the law within my own home. After all, the university is my home; as such I should endure only the laws of conduct and government that would normally apply to private residences. Like speech, religion, and property, privacy is a right. Just as we would not tolerate a university that imposes limits on our ability to speak our minds, neither should we tolerate one which imposes limits upon our right to act beyond the eyes of those in authority; to have sanctuary from the pervasive tentacles of the government. But more and more that right is being eroded. Every year greater liberties are being granted for police to act with impunity on campus, and for residential directors and advisors to enter our rooms under illsupported suspicions of misconduct. Why is this? What have we done to relinquish, or at least loosen our grip upon, our claim to privacy? What vast misdeeds have been carried out, what crimes have been committed? There is not justification for our being closely scrutinized, guarded, and controlled by police at the allowance of our university. And it truly is our university. We are the primary backers of this institution. We pay its colossal tuition, run its clubs, and we are its body and classes. It should be the responsibility of the students of this university to account for our own behavior and be allowed to impose our own shared ideas of governance. Let’s get the police off of our campus.