Stealing, Sledding and Oberlin

To the Editors:

Continuing with the theme of thieving Oberlin students which as been a common thread in the past two Review issues, I would like to comment on the problems the co-ops have with items ‘walking away on their own.’ This is particularly a problem in the co-ops which are within non co-op buildings such as Fairchild and Pyle Inn/Asia House. Many non-co-opers have realized over the years that it takes far less effort to steal from a co-op than it does the CDS halls. There are also those folks who decide to ‘aquire’ midnight snacks and such from the co-ops. Every co-op I’ve been in at Oberlin has had to purchase kitchen ware (bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, etc.) at some point while I was there. Some of this, of course, is the membership being careless about returning borrowed goods, but I’ve certainly encountered random people in co-ops late at night.
The fact is, Oberlin students steal things because they feel like they’re getting ripped off. Granted, constant thievery increases their being ripped off, but students at Oberlin took more pride in what was going on around them, they’d be less likely to trash it - ‘Wow! That CDS, they’re really here to look after our best interests!’ Unfortunately, in the case of CDS, there’s not much to take pride in. Was that undercooked burger and those soggy french fries really worth $14.50?
And on a side note, the DeCafé would have a much easier time holding on to trays if the college provided sleds to students during the winter months. Perhaps students could check them out from that equipment room in the gym.
Or better yet, because old habits die hard, they could keep a stack of sleds in the DeCafé.
The college could even be really high-tech and set up a sled rack out by Mt. Oberlin similar to those SmarteCarte things at airports. Students could swipe their ID to release a sled. I bet cheap K-Mart plastic sleds cost less than those trays CDS uses. The sleds could be used in place of trays at the DeCafé and dining halls during warmer months anyhow.
And the next building Oberlin builds should have a sloped grassy bank on one side (preferably the north side - it’d catch those winds off Lake Erie - and I mean way bigger than the one on the back of the Environmental Studies Building) to facilitate sledding. That had absolutely nothing to do with the point of the rest of my letter, but I felt it necessary to bring that idea to the attention of the Oberlin community.

–Tom Simchak
College Senior

September 27
October 4

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