The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
We received an email from a reader last week, a third shift custodian at Farmer who bought the first new car of her life a few months ago.
At 3 a.m. last Friday, she walked out and found the hood of her Subaru smashed in and the windshield shattered. It looked like someone had jumped on it. She had to get a ride home from her sister and wasn’t able to drive her son to school the following morning.
Not enough to warrant a story by itself — but enough to take notice and make you a little angry.
We don’t know if a student was responsible for the vandalism, but it wasn’t the only incidence of warrantless vandalism we saw in our weekly media report from the Oxford Police Department. And we do know that drunk college students do dumb, drunken things — like jumping on cars.
And a lot of the time, the people who do these things don’t have any lasting consequences. They either don’t get charged or they pay to get the charges expunged.
The question we have to ask is, how do you hold people accountable while they to continue to live in the pseudo-real world of the Oxford bubble?
While we’re at Miami, consequences don’t seem real. Get caught drinking underage? Just take the diversion and get it off your record. Break a windshield? Throw money at it until it goes away.
Many of us are guilty of the “not the real world” mentality. We say “when I’m an adult,” “when I’m in the real world” or “when I’m an actual person” as if a quarter of us aren’t a few months away from graduation.
Many students have their parents as a financial backup. If you do, that’s great and hopefully you’re grateful for it..
Statistically, Miami is a pretty wealthy school. According to a survey of incoming first years, 75 percent of first years come from a household that makes $100,000 or more a year.
Having a cushion of money surrounding your college experience can give the false sense that there’s nothing to worry about.. Many of us feel like we can pay for that windshield or pay a lawyer to get an infraction expunged off our record.
But not always going to have their money to fall back on and eventually, we’ll be on our own. We’ll have to pay our own bills and deal with any financial difficulties that come our way.
For some students, that’s already the reality. When you have to rely on financial aids and scholarships to go to college, you behave more carefully. When you have less, you worry more.
While some students might not care of they get charged with a misdemeanor crime, such as underage possession of alcohol, these offenses are placed on their records and may affect them later on. These offenses also require a lengthy legal process before they can be expunged.
We all take those risks, but when we have a sense of entitlement and think that we were meant to have this experience and it can’t be taken away, we behave more recklessly. We ignore the fact that consequences matter.
If we weren’t in college , we’d take our actions more seriously. Any misdemeanor would be on our record and our employers would be able to see them. We could be denied a job because of them.
In Oxford, a sense of entitlement mixes with the invincible mentality of most people our age who believe, we’re not who’s going to get in trouble. And if we do, daddy will make it go away.
Oxford is safe. Getting blacked out at the bars and stumbling your way home isn’t the worst thing you can do here. You’ll probably wake up the next morning with nothing but a bad hangover and residual embarrassment.
In the “real world,” it’s not going to have as nice of an ending.
Just because this town we live in let’s us pretend we’re not in the real world doesn’t mean we aren’t.
Money isn’t something that was inherently bad. Privilege isn’t something that’s inherently bad. But when you don’t acknowledge your privilege, it is dangerous.
If we don’t at least stop and recognize the fact that we have this safety net and bubble surrounding us, the second that bubble pops, the net dissolves, we’re going to fall. And the landing is not going to be gentle.
We’re not waiting to be adults, we’re not in line to enter the real world.