February 14, 2013
Living in our Central New York bubble, we often forget that we are not immune to the woes of the outside world. However, any Hamiltonian who has had the pleasure of gracing the long, winding halls of Milbank and Babbitt residence halls on the dark side knows of their devastating plague: “suite-shopping.”
Suite-shoppers, for those fortunate members of the community who are not yet familiar with the term, are thieves who make their way through dark side common rooms, stealing any items they deem their own. Admittedly this should be common knowledge, but let it be known that these items belong to the respective suite residents, not the wider Hamilton community!
The most frequent (but perhaps least worrisome) items stolen from common rooms are found in refrigerators and cabinets. And, while many consider these items the worst suite-shopping offense, Easy-Mac and mixers are, in reality, quite simple to replace.
Far more valuable items have also grown legs and feet on the dark side, sneakily escaping common rooms without notice. Laptops, iPods, sound systems, video games, televisions, blankets, snuggies, tables, chairs and even futons have also been stolen from suites.
This week, Campus Safety Director Fran Manfredo sent an e-mail out to the campus, reporting “two thefts of valuable electronic equipment from the common areas in Milbank and Babbitt residence halls.” In this e-mail, he urged us to lock away our valuable items and never hesitate to report suspicious activity to Campus Safety.
Beyond these incidents, we must bear in mind that stealing occurs in dorms outside of the dark side suites, as well. Many common rooms and even individual dorm rooms throughout campus are subject to the same dangers as the dark side suites. In addition, recent Campus Safety incident reports have included burglary and theft from various buildings around campus, including Soper Commons and Bundy Dining Hall.
This is inexcusable. Members of the Hamilton community should respect their peers and their peers’ belongings. Stealing is not, by any means, an appropriate or respectful way to obtain cool stuff. And that is something that should not have to be taught at one of the top colleges in our nation.
Locks between suites are one possible solution, but that would diminish the openness of the dorms. After all, a large part of the allure of the dark side suites is their socially welcoming layout. We must all remember to secure our precious belongings in the confines of our own locked rooms and be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior in our, or anyone else’s, suites.