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12.04.2004

Taylor students, alumni express shock and awe (updated)

Thanks to Annie for digging up this list. Keep in mind, most of what they're saying is speculation, unconfirmed rumors and information fed to them by people who weren't actually witnesses. Doesn't mean it's not true, just be critical about what you read.

  • This student calls the riot a tragedy.
  • This one believes people need to think about their actions.
  • This guys is "annoyed " about what happened.
  • This one's ashamed.
  • Jen says no one should "disown Taylor" over the riot.
  • This guy was "impressed" with Dr. Gyertson's speech.
  • The reluctant warrior is cynical.
  • "Downright wrong" is this student's conclusion.
  • This one is just, well, he compares the chorale to communist China (smiles)
I'll update the list as more become available. But I will say what no one else is saying -- all of this stuff -- and I mean all of it -- has happened before on Taylor's campus. Those of us who've been there have witnessed it. Taylor doesn't know how to deal with its students, and now they're paying the price for it. One thing seemed to be typical of those posts, though -- an undying support for Taylor and the preservation of its routinely shattered perfect image.

For example, the dinning commons. When I worked as a student manager there Connie and I would stand at the top and watch students steal Christmas decorations. ALL THE TIME. It was a constant nuisance. I had to regularly put out toaster fires that WERE INTENTIONALLY SET.

The nativity scene, not that I ever agreed that this was funny, has always been a target. One year, while walking to breakfast at 7 a.m., I was greeted to a STOLEN Elby's Big Boy statue right in the middle of the nativity scene. It was huge. (Okay, that was funny). Multiple times the stolen pieces were never recovered.

One year, after our sister wing stole something from our floor -- we returned the favor by raiding their wing and throwing confetti and silly string every where. And I mean everywhere (I have video). Granted we weren't naked (at least I wasn't) and the girls took it very well, they even came over the next weekend and stole all of our remote controls.

I myself have been accused of vandalism (that I didn't do), but it does happen on campus. Things stolen from dorm rooms was a common occurence when I was a student. I'd often tell prospectives that most student's don't lock their doors because there was no reason to, while keeping it in the back of my mind that I *always* locked my own door.

My point is, that though by all acounts what happened was over the top and en masse -- this isn't new. What disturbs me most about it all is not what the students did, because I've seen it all happen at Taylor before -- is that what the campus seems most concerned about is that fact that these kids damaged Taylor's reputation.

And no one seems to be asking the pertinent question. Why'd they do it?

UPDATE (11 p.m.)

I've been given this copy of an e-mail from another student. I've yet to get an accurate, *first-hand* account of any of what happened. All the students seem to be filtering back Skip Trudeau's information:
so dr. g opened the meeting, explained how upset he was at what happened, said he had cried this afternoon when he heard, and then he turned it over to skip.
skip had pages and pages of lists of what happened last night: felonies, vandalism, trespassing, etc. it is awful. here is a brief rundown of what i can remember: the nativity scene from behind the library was vandalized, parts stolen, and many parts broken
4-5 homes in the community were broken into. 5 campus buildings were broken into in olson and english guys streaked (yeah, naked) through the floors, tore down shower curtains, stole stuff from a girl's room (while she was there) a fire was set in front of olson for which the fire department had to come the dc was broken into and vandalized: trees stolen, lights broken, chairs scattered, doors damaged, tools stolen ayres was broken into, and the pieces from the nativity scene were found there.
the library was broken into. he said 200 or students were in there. shelves were knocked over, books strewn about, door broken, etc.
campus safety was mocked, threatened, mooned...
the part that made me the saddest was what skip said the police officers said. campus safety apparently asked the local police to stay away and let them handle it, but those police were begging to come. a matthews police officer was heard saying on the scanner that he wanted to come and have a piece of the christian hypocrites.
so basically, the town knows; it will be in the news; the police are upset; student development has to figure out how to work with the breaking of taylor rules and breaking of laws...
it is a mess.
The part that continually strikes me as an issue of concern is the repeated use of the term "felony" -- to hear campus safety put it, they're not law enforcement and as I understand no one at Taylor works for the DA and they're not sitting on a grand jury -- so why is the term "felony" being thrown around so soon?

It's not the place of Taylor or any one there to decide that.

Speaking from experience, that's the kind of thing that ruins a person's reputation and costs them government jobs that require squeaky clean security clearances.