Security report only tip of iceberg

by Mark Pleiss

Simpson’s thick, black underbelly has finally been exposed.

The social disorder Mecca that is Simpson College has, for thefirst time since this time last year, published its yearlycollection of misdeeds and wretched undertakings wielded on our ownsacred campus, via our campus security force.

And at first glance, the numbers almost seem disparaging.

The number of sexual assaults has increased, alcohol-relatedincidents have skyrocketed and arson is at an all-time high.

But perhaps there’s more to the numbers than what meets theeye.

Let’s examine what really went on last year when it came tocrime and punishment in our scholastic community.

The first segment we’ll discuss is the matter of hard crimes,including manslaughter, murder, weapon crimes and robberies.

Many a time I’ve driven through Indianola, thinking how good ofan introduction Unsolved Mysteries could give our town, somethinglike “Indianola, Iowa … a small campus community, rocked by theheinous act of four grizzled professors…”

But fortunately for us – not my imagination – there’s not muchto discuss.

Not surprisingly, there were no cases of these crimes last year,or in the last four years. Though I’m not going to pat ourcommunity on the back for not killing people, I suppose there aresome props that go out for not performing wretched acts upon ourbrethren.

The next portion of the security report shows an increase insexual assaults, from two in 2002, to three in 2003.

At first glance, this may seem disheartening. But there arecertain circumstances that go into those numbers.

We must remember there were probably far more cases of sexualassault than the reported three last year. According to Fulfill thePromise, an organization committed to dealing with rape, only 36%of sexual assaults are reported.

How many assaults there truly were, we’ll never know.

The stats only show three.

Whether there truly were more assaults this year than years pastcan be refuted. Sadly, after looking at the last few years’numbers, it’s likely there will be assaults every year.

But the fact that more students are speaking out about it tobring their accusers to justice is a fact that should bewelcomed.

Along with sexual assault, the increase in alcohol-relatedincidents will also turn a few heads. But certain facts must alsobe recognized to understand the situation.

Believe it or not, alcohol use in colleges – namely small onesin rural Iowa with little external entertainment – runs rampant.Statistics show the number of alcohol busts increased from 69 in2002 to 83 in 2003.

But this doesn’t mean there were only 83 times when people weregetting or being drunk. If security wished to, they could probablybust – without breaking a sweat – 10 to 20 students per weekendnight.

Multiply that by the number of weekend nights in a year, and youcould have a pretty nasty number. What the numbers truly show isthat security has decided to bust more students for alcohol lastyear opposed to other years.

Let this be your warning then – you who go to the bottle -security has stepped up its efforts.

So keep your 40s in their brown sacks.

We now move on to arson, which any Simpson second-year man orwoman will tell you brings back a few Simpsonian memories from lastyear. The five-fold increase in arson comes thanks to Simspon’s ownarsonists last year who had a taste for garbage. Dumpster fires in2003 left students terrified to take their trash to theirrespective receptacles.

There were five total cases, and when the students wereapprehended, the fires suddenly ended.

So breathe easy. There’s a good chance you won’t see a fire,despite what the numbers suggest.

Overall, after a definitive analysis of the security report, wecan come to the conclusion things really aren’t as disconcerting assome of the numbers may indicate. But, there are several lessons tobe learned from the numbers that can tell us how to live a moreproductive, and less law-breaking lives on campus.

For example, Security is obviously getting after students morefor alcohol, so don’t be stupid when you’re pershnaggled.

Also, there’s always a concern for assault on campus, especiallynow that residence halls are open to everyone during the day.

And finally, be careful when you go to the dumpster, they tendto burst into flames at random times.

You can get your own copy of the Security report by going, or stopping by the securityoffice.

Tell ’em Mark sent ‘ya.