Criminal Record

Recently, I received a mysterious e-mail from Stepford Residence Life summoning me to a “hearing” of the “Community Standards Council” to determine if I was responsible for allegedly being “involved in a incident in violation of Stepford’s values and honor code.”   I told my roommates and Amber immediately began channeling all those Law and Order marathons we’ve wasted good sleeping hours on.  We (really, just she) poured over the Student Handbook and discovered that the summons technically violated Values Violations procedure as outlined in the handbook, as it did not inform me of whatever the alleged incident actually was (although it did tell me the date of the incident, from last semester – like I remember what I did last week!).
We didn’t have time to get pencil skirt suits and briefcases, so we marched into the hearing wearing jeans and backpacks instead – Amber playing the role of my legal counsel and Mary Beth just there to be amused.  It took us a while to find the room, as it was in a part of the University Center we never go in.  At first I thought it was the door behind the big statue of a dead white guy that used to be in the room in the Capitol where they have statues from all the states (they replaced him with Helen Keller, she’s more PC), but the door was unmarked, and when we stood in front of the statue and said “Lemon Drop,” nothing happened.  We did find it, though, and we weren’t late, although half the council was – the council being comprised of a staff adviser and seven students, only two of whom actually showed up.  A handful of other equally confused students were present to get their sentences (more politely called “sanctions”).  You parked in the wrong parking lot?  Hang them on the Quad!  Hang them all on the Quad!
They explained how we would each get a chance to tell our side of the story privately to the council before they discussed our sanctions.  They finally presented us with written reports of our “incidents” – thus removing a leg from our defense about “not following procedure.”
The incident?  We have visitation hours in the dorms, when we are allowed to have members of the opposite sex in the dorms (co-ed dorms are for heathens and sexual vagrants), provided we sign our visitors in at the residence life office and fork over a drivers license and a kidney as collateral.  On weekends, visitation is from 2 PM – 12 AM, and usually when we have guys over, it’s the weekend.  However, on weekdays, visitation ends at 10 PM.  The day of the mysterious incident was a weekDAY, not a weekEND, and we were hanging out in the dorm, when at 10:15 PM I received a phone call from Residence Life telling me to come sign out my visitor.  We signed out and I apologized to the (apparently pissed) RA on duty, explaining that I had forgotten visitation ended at 10 and not midnight.  No harm done, right?  Wrong!  Stepford has been VIOLATED and someone must be punished!  The RA on duty, contrary to the forgiving nature of almost every other RA I know, wrote a report on the heinous and malicious breach of protocol and it was this report that caused me to be summoned to the Community Standards Council on a rainy Thursday afternoon.
I told them my side of the story – what I’ve told you here, minus my comments on the RA’s bad mood.  One of the two students on the council said dubiously, “That’s it?” and they sent me on my way with their characteristically Stepford smiles, promising an e-mail the following day that would deliver my sanction, if there was any.
My thoughts afterwards?  That this was a ridiculous, trivial waste of time, and these reasonable people understood the harmless and thoroughly accidental nature of the incident.  Well, I got my sentencing via e-mail today, as promised, and I received two points on my “record,” seven of which will send a person to the “Values Advocate” and likely put them on probation.
You know what else I did today?  I put down a deposit on an off-campus apartment.
I don’t foresee suddenly accumulating 5 more points in the next year, but the absolutely useless nature of the entire process from start to finish has only solidified my firm dislike of the Stepford administration.  I have wonderful professors, I’ve met a few interesting people, and I’ve gotten a good liberal arts education for what is unfortunately a bargain, but I will have no feelings of nostalgia or affection for the institution when I step off its perfectly landscaped campus for the last time.  This one incident is not what has tarnished my view of Stepford, it’s only the cherry on top – a battle scar, if you will, and an enjoyable story to tell.

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One thought on “Criminal Record

  1. Hahaha! Wow…I forgot what it's like to not be at a State university. And by State, I mean orgy-participating-heathen-socialists. = ) Good thing about the off campus apartment. I'm sure that will ease your mind! And be a lot more fun…Miss you! Hope you are well!

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