Search for civil rights

After moving in on the weekend before a whole new array oflife was embarked upon, Ian Collins, I suspect, would be readyto relax. Relax he did – off to Staples he went for notebooks,folders, and general school supplies stamped at a lower pricethan the University has to offer us.Upon return, he finds the law enforcement officials at the door(an on-campus student’s only means of privacy) lingering, loitering, and anticipating an easy entrance to his room.If you read the previous article in The Cynic considering IanCollins (which is worth a sitdow n session) you’d come tounderstand his situational reasons for filing a lawsuit against the University, more specifically concerning issues that relate to the new Search for a Cause (guilty until proven innocent?) policy.This opposes the previous entrance fee, allowing access intoour rooms under simple, certain suspicion.The new code of conduct rivals the ludicrousness of illegalizinghookahs in the dorm room and prohibition of blown glass, alocal phenomenon in Burlington.The righteous outcome of an agreement was made between thetwo parties, resulting in the continuance of Ian’s education – paying for (all sarcasm aside) a most awe inspiring, rewarding, and gratuitous institution.Collins began the year with a most dreadful exploitation.However, this situation brings light to an ever present “opposition” which is too often innate in the relationship between law and public opinion. It offered the student body a much needed exposure to what our rights are, andwhat they should be, here at the University of Vermont.It’s our own panic that swallows us. We grant entrance tooccurrences through oblivious fear that would otherwise neverbe tolerable. Back in the days of parental domain, would we be so grosslypanic stricken when opening the door for a guardian who provides the room? No. So why is it that we’ve harbored no control in the room we pay to rent for nine months?I wonder if, ultimately, we pay for the employment of thepolice and in return receive their respectable duty, their (perhaps) required quota of community members strapped.And so, if it is our fees that pay for the police, that would, inessence, link us as an asset to the economic chain that isBurlington.In the case of Mr. Ian Collins, his self respect and selfeducatedconstitutional rights reopened the door to his deserved education. Just as it’s the authorities’ obligation to enforce safety precautions, it’s our own accountability to know what is acceptable.This new knowledge can release both relief and regret. Relief for those ready to deny admission to that daunting knock,and regret for those whom it’s too late.As triviality enlightens, our constitutional rights will be whatsaves us. But how much help can they be if you’re not willing toknow what strengths they hold?