The Locker Room

NCSU admin demonstrates How To Blow Things Way Out of Proportion

Posted by Jon Sanders at 00:05 AM

NC State student newspaper Technician reports on what happened at that "Facebooks Violation Town Hall Meeting" at NCSU that I wrote about earlier this week. From this vantage point, the whole sordid episode looks like paternalism run amuck, with administrators1 and student stoolies styled as RA's white-hot with righteous indignation because some website somewhere has photos highly suggestive that some students imbibed. Mencken's Puritans losing sleep over the thought that somewhere, someone is having fun have nothing on these guys.

Apparently, one "Paul Cousins from the Office of Student Conduct" was particularly incensed. Technician describes his part of the talk thus:

Cousins ... began by outlining his perception of the issues at hand. According to Cousins, the case dealt with the issue of alcohol, having photos taken as evidence and personal grievances felt by some of the students involved.

He outlined the issue as relatively simple. "Either you drank or you didn't, it's pretty damn simple," he said.

Cousins recommended the students take responsibility and admit either guilt or innocence when faced with their interviews. ...

"We're pretty good at what we do," Cousins said, referring to the process of implementing the Code of Student Conduct. "We've been using photos for years -- evidence is evidence," Cousins said.

"I can access your unity account under the right circumstances," he said.

My, what threats! I wonder if Cousins gets to be play "bad cop" in these "interviews?" Criminy, what a tempest in a teakettle. But there's more, and now it gets even better2:

[Cousins] repeatedly referenced postings on The Wolf Web as disturbing him more than any other aspect of the case.

One user posted that the resident adviser should be crucified and burned at the stake.

He said this is going under investigation, and he intends to find the student who posted the threats.

Well, I reckon you better canvas the university to see who's hoarding railroad ties, rope and nails to construct a crucifix, Deputy Fife. You've got to nip this in the bud!


1. Not all of them. Credit "Susan Grant of University Housing" with the common sense enough to tell everyone, "Resident advisers are community builders first, not disciplinarians." The report does not tell whether there were audible groans of disappointment at that statement.

2. Speaking of getting better, Technician has an entertaining misspelling here: "Cousins, Dailey and Barnwell pointed to the Internet as a public medium and said students should be weary of what they post." Yes, goodness knows, but no doubt yon Internet Constable said "wary," because Big Brother Cousins is watching you ...

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