Events of last week leave students wondering if handcuffs are the University’s latest, greatest fashion accessory

Elizabeth Lowder

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New York Fashion Week has finally come to a close, and I saw plenty of hot accessories. Despite the growing trend in Tuscaloosa, handcuffs were not on the list.

Last week’s major “facepalm” incident with the football players was embarrassing not only to our athletic program, but also to the University as a whole. There is no logical excuse for one student to harass or beat up another student, cause a concussion, then rob him of his belongings. It is completely unacceptable.

Additionally, one of the players stole another student’s ACT card to get snacks out of the vending machine. Snacks. Personally, I’d like to know what kind of snack he chose: sweet and chocolatey for a pack of M&M’s or the delciousness of Cheetos. Either way, he made a poor decision. Four student-athletes ended up in handcuffs that day as a result of these absurd choices.

Let’s take a look at the shenanigans of this week: 63 of the 74 people arrested in the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force raid were UA students. When I first saw news break of this on Twitter, I thought it was a joke or, at the very least, a ridiculous rumor. I had friends and family texting me from California to New York City asking what was going on because they had seen or heard stories about the massive drug raid on campus. I can’t believe the utter stupidity of my fellow classmates who were whisked away in the sea of flashing blue lights on campus early Tuesday morning.

A majority of the infractions directly involved marijuana, which is currently an illegal drug in most of the United States. Sure, college is a time for new experiences and unique opportunities, but keeping illegal drugs in your dorm room is a terrible, terrible idea. Sneaking alcohol in your backpack past the RA’s in the dorm is a risky move, but it’s also against the rules.

These couple hundred words won’t entirely change your mind about hiding your vodka in a water bottle in the mini-fridge, but at least consider the options. Students should be mindful that being a student at The University of Alabama is a privilege, and it means abiding to rules that we all signed and agreed to upon enrollment. That’s basic freshman 101 information. It isn’t difficult to play by the University’s rules. Once you’re off campus and you’re renting/owning property of your own in the Tuscaloosa area, then by all means, play by your own rules.

As Judy Bonner said in a campuswide email Tuesday afternoon, “These students represent a small group of UA students.” Unfortunately, these students, paired with the student-athletes of last week’s debacle, are what people following local, statewide and regional current events are going to think of when they hear The University of Alabama. Are you, the reader, capable of turning the University’s image around for the better? I’m not encouraging you not to take risks. I encourage you not to make decisions that could ultimately embarrass you, your family and friends, organizations you’re affiliated with and your alma mater.

Let’s leave the handcuffs to Christian Grey and keep them out of the Capstone.

Elizabeth Lowder is the assistant community manager of The Crimson White.

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