Recent thefts, elevator closure turn spotlight again on misbehavior
Published: Sunday, November 16, 2008 - 9:54pm
URBANA — Those who were sitting in the lounge on Thursday during lunch probably heard when Assistant Director Sue Kovacs stuck her head in and yelled: “Anyone with a free period during third or fourth will be interviewed by the police. Money has been taken from students' lockers for the second time.”
Approximately twenty dollars was taken from the first locker while nearly fifty was stolen from the other.
As it turns out, the police won’t be brought into this case, but that is because the two students whose money was stolen didn’t want to run the risk of possibly implicating their friends.
“I would’ve called the cops, had them come over and talk to the girls [whose money was stolen], and gone from there,” said Kovacs. “We would’ve filed a report, and we would’ve had some steps that could be taken by the police in solving this problem.”
These recent thefts aren’t the only examples of misbehavior that has plagued Uni this year.
Then on Nov. 7, Kovacs sent a schoolwide e-mail informing students and faculty that the elevator would be closed for two weeks due to misconduct.
According to Kovacs, a faculty member had sent an e-mail earlier that week complaining about students:
- running from at least halfway down the hallway and jostling and running into other students on their way to the elevator;
- running and then jumping into the elevator;
- yelling for the elevator to be held as they are running down the hallway;
- riding the elevator when they only need to travel up or down one floor;
- crowding the elevator with more than 10 people.
Students who are caught riding the elevator during the closure without an excuse will be suspended for the rest of the day. Additionally, if students who do have an excuse and allow other students to ride the elevator with them, both will be suspended for a day.
This is the second time this year that the elevator has had to be closed due to disrespectful student behavior. If the elevator has to be closed again, according to Kovacs, it will remain closed for the rest of the year, except to injured students, parents, and faculty.
This would be disappointing to Kovacs, who fought for student access to the elevator when she arrived at Uni earlier this decade.
“When I first came here seven years ago [the elevator] was locked shut,” said Kovacs. “No students would ever set their feet in that elevator, and I said: ‘This is crazy. If they can behave and use it like ladies and gentlemen and follow the rules, then why are we going to the inconvenience of locking the elevator?’
"So we went through SFAC and I went to the faculty and I said, 'Can we try it on a probation time?' and that sort of thing, and it worked. And so the next year it was open, and every time there was any problem we’d get grumbling from the staff that they can’t handle it, and so I’m forced. That’s my rule: Three strikes and it’s out.”