Letter to the editor

After one month into my ninth semester here at Baker, I now realize that I am really a ninth-year high school student. How is this possible you might ask? After seeing how certain incidents have been handled this semester and in previous ones, I now have a greater appreciation for all things outside of “The Baldwin Bubble.”

So how did I become such a disenfranchised dissident, you might ask? First and most recent, is how the soccer coaches have been enlisted by the administration to give a talkin’ to those boys about “proper” behavior at events. While a few of the comments certainly crossed the line of decent conversation (we must remember we are, of course, talking about heckling and not decent conversation), the vast majority are clever and do not elicit the arbitrary obscene language that is so abhorrent to members of the administration. I am not here to debate the morality of cursing or the progression of our society into a coarser, more graphic language. I do, however, wish the school would realize nearly all students who are attending Baker are legal adults, and with this denotation, should be treated as such. Treating someone like a child will only result in juvenile actions by the subject. This institution is not concerned with producing well-rounded adults who can contribute to society, but rather preventing its students from making mistakes.

The second thing that has further alienated me is the completely ridiculous party policy being enforced by our diminutive deans. According to the proposed IFC party policy, no hard alcohol, defined as any beverage with 20 percent or more alcohol is allowed. Now I don’t know about you, but I certainly enjoy a mixed drink more often than not, and in fact, some ports (that’s wine for you Natty drinkers) are over the limit of what is acceptable. The second proposed policy is if a fraternity has 21-30 members, then it is allowed to have 40 percent of its capacity without the gathering being considered a “party”. For the Kappa Sigma fraternity, it takes 12.6 people who are not in our house to show up and enjoy an adult drink for the university to consider this a party. Ridiculous! I remember when a party wasn’t a party until at least 200 people were there. Now, that is only possible at smaller, more volatile venues that do not offer security. The apartments and duplexes often have parties where there are more people than are allowed at a fraternity, which at least to this student, seems counterintuitive. I know that the 2003-2004 school year brought many fights and changes that needed to be made. However, the culprits of these incidents are all but gone due to the good nature of Baker and Baldwin in general.

One of the biggest problems with Baker and, in the author’s opinion, Kansas in general, is the tendency, whether it be based in Christian doctrine or simply small town “clean living,” to preach abstinence over responsibility. This goes for sex, booze and any other supposed vice. I think this approach does more harm than good. When someone is told not to do something, it is human nature to do exactly what was forbidden. While I don’t have any suggestion about how to teach responsibility to kids who never deviated from the “good path” until escaping the supervision of their parents, I do think more has to be done to show that one can drink and not get alcohol poisoning.

There is a famous parable in which a small child has a pet caterpillar. This child loves his caterpillar and takes it everywhere until one day it goes into a cocoon. He thinks the creature is dead, but his mother explains to him the process of metamorphosis, and it will emerge as a beautiful butterfly. She tells him under no circumstance should he help the caterpillar get out of the cocoon and if he does the butterfly’s wings won’t be strong enough to fly. When the child sees the butterfly pounding its wings to beat its way out of the cocoon, the child doesn’t think it will be able to get out by itself, so he helps the butterfly get out of the cocoon. Upon escape from cocoon, the butterfly falls helplessly to the ground to its death. These are the types of people who are being churned out of this so-called institution of higher learning; we learn Chaucer and Marx but not how to take care of things in a timely manner or by ourselves. Let us fall down a couple of times, scrape our knees and get into trouble, because without making mistakes we truly don’t learn.

Jason Collette, senior