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More Cheers, Less Tears

As any first-year knows, Dean Hatt recently decided to blitz troublemakers with a series of suspensions, liquor bans, fines and threats of legal recourse. What’s curious is that the punishments were vindicated by such thoroughly constructed cases.

A number of first-year students recently suffered the consequences of all the fun they were having.
As any first-year knows, Dean Hatt recently decided to blitz the innocent troublemakers with a series of suspensions, liquor bans, fines and threats of legal recourse. What’s curious is that the punishments were vindicated by such thoroughly constructed cases.
Yasch Na, who is notorious among Patrol members, received 12 incident reports when called into Dean Hatt’s office to receive his punishment. The question emerges: why weren’t these infractions dealt with immediately, in a way that allowed for cooperation and not merely censure?
Many students were shocked, some even appalled, by such quick and tough punishment. There is a feeling that the actions taken against them did not allow for an opportunity to cooperate. Perhaps the whole year has been an opportunity to cooperate, but all the same, these penalties seem more intent on submission.
Devastatingly, the dream had come to an end. There would be no more antics.
Cochran Bay had many running jokes, one of which involved calling Patrol members “snitches” with varying degrees of sarcasm and crassness. The joke was ill-received.
Ted Danson, whose room in Cochran Bay regularly attracted the attention of Patrol before he was fined $150, wishes people realized that he was acting out of desperation.
“I just wish Patrol realized that things haven’t been easy for me in my life,” said Danson. “I had a rough childhood and, when I misbehave I’m just hoping someone will realize it’s an outcry and save me.”
If you get this joke, you might see the humour in calling Patrol “snitches.”
Dean Hatt thinks that the rules, as established by the Code of Conduct, allow “considerable leeway in handling situations on a case-by-case basis, which helps avoid detached punishments that ignore the student behind the act.” Evidently Hatt has no tolerance for sarcasm.
Beyond this instance, Patrol and some students seem unable to find common ground. Is there a natural tension, that of youth against authority? Or is regarding Patrol as authority the issue itself.
After all, these very same people fraternize with the first-year troublemakers when not on duty.
Patrol’s only authority lies in filling out incident reports. They tell first-years to stop being loud, or stop smoking out their window, or to get off the roof, etc. but can only penalize students by what they convey in incident reports.
Dean Hatt describes Patrol as “peer support.” He went on to say that they are a part of the King’s community just as much as all students, staff, and faculty.
He attributes the tension between Patrol and students to “the decision to disregard Patrol.”
Gabe Davis, a second-year at King’s who prefers to be called Wave Wavis, thinks “first-years and patrol have never really got along, because they kill people’s buzz, but there hasn’t been the kind of animosity between students and Patrol that there is this year.”
He went on to say that the first-years seem to be especially inclined to mischief, “but Patrol should have thicker skins; they should expect a certain amount of bitterness when they ruin people’s fun. Also, Patrol not being able to handle people kind of sucks, because it’s nice that they are giving jobs to fellow King’s students, and we don’t want them to hire legitimate campus police.”
Doubtless, no student wants Dal security at King’s. Whether Patrol needs to change their tactics or students should be a bit more respectful, all King’s students can take pride in differing from Dalhousie.
Bitterness between Patrol and first-years is certainly detrimental to a sense of community. The obligation to maintain that community is all of ours.
The intoxicated conduct of first-year students is surely an expression of how enamoured they are with King’s. If not, let’s hope the neer-do-wells scamper off to Montreal.

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

One reply on “More Cheers, Less Tears”

The overly sarcastic and hostile tone of this article really overshadows the few good and interesting points that happen to be in here. Also, it’s rather unprofessional for one of the three quotes in an article to be entirely sarcastic. The point was: maybe Patrol and the administration should have more of a sense of humour. The article made that point rather inelegantly.
I agree that it is hard to tell where the line falls between Patrol being too harsh and students being too rowdy, but who exactly was “shocked” and “appalled” after someone with twelve infractions got punished? When Patrol tells you not to do something, that’s a warning. Twelve warnings seems a little lenient to me.
But then again, I’m an old tree. Things have changed quite a bit since my time.

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