The Silent Majority: Fighting for Their Right to Study

To the Editor:I was alone at dinner, so out of sheer boredom I grabbed this, the local rag, the Vermont Cynic. I almost never read the front page first, but my eyes were drawn to the headline, “Parasitic Injustice Draining the Life Out of Students” on page two (Feb. 23). “At last,” I thought, “an editorial I will identify with!” You see, I feel that this institution has many students who are far too busy partying and indulging in pharmacological bliss to study. I believe in individual rights, but your right to party should not interfere with my right to study or enjoy a good nights’ sleep. I think that it is unjust for the students whose parents don’t buy them fancy SUVs, who want to study and who don’t do drugs, to have to put up with the insanity that goes on in the residence halls as well as in the student ghettoes off campus. These party freaks help to drag down those who wish to study, and those social parasites are certainly draining the life out of me. When you say that, and I’ll quote your piece here, “Any judiciary system’s supposed purpose is to reform those who break the rules that govern the institution,” you completely miss the point. A good judiciary system exists to uphold law and order and to ensure that the illegal actions of the few do not disrupt the lives of the innocent. In short, the role of the judiciary is to protect society at large, not to reform offenders. Clearly the discipline code outlined in the Cat’s Tale is not designed to reform the offender, and with good reason. You also say that “No measures, however stringent, will bring an end to this (drugs & underage alcohol) problem.” That is a flawed argument, as well. It is implied that since no law will eradicate lawlessness, we should abandon laws entirely. If you ask me, the average partier at UVM is not looking over his shoulder, but practices his “art” in a brazen manner. Go into virtually any residence hall on a weekend, and it will not be long before you smell burning cannabis wafting through the air. I find it hard to believe that the dorms are so overheated that the windows would have to be open with fans operating in the depths of Vermont winter! You would have to be deaf, blind, and have no sense of smell to miss the parties going on. If the offenders were afraid of being caught, they would take extra effort to not be noticed, and in doing so would disrupt the ordinary, decent students at this university far less than they do now. An environment free of sleepless nights because the morons down the hall are partying again is more comfortable than the alternative. I must say, however, that the so-called point that really took the cake was when you wrote in your piece that, “As it is, the university struggles with a low retention rate.” A low retention rate is indicative of students failing academically. I find it hard to believe that, aside from dismissal/expulsion from the University, fear of the judicial system causes those aforementioned social parasites to seek out “greener” pastures where they can get stoned in peace. Instead, if there were less disruptive partying on campus, students would be better able to study, and retention rates would improve. I suppose changing the judicial system at the University of Vermont would improve retention, so long as those changes kept in mind the rights of those students who are here to gain an education, and provided for the swifter expulsion of those students who are not. So, before you write an opinion piece whining about getting caught, maybe you should consider the silent majority who resent those of you who don’t care who you wake up at night, or force to walk to the library because the floor is too loud. In the real world, those who don’t care, don’t matter.