Monday, December 05, 2005

Fun With Judicial Affairs

I'm a strong believer that stupid policy encourages stupid behavior. Enter college and the wonderful office of Judicial Affairs. Judicial Affairs sole goal is to enforce ridiculous rules and issue ridiculous sanctions on offenders. Many schools, I'm particularly thinking of Notre Dame and Stanford, have come to terms with the fact that, while in college, students are going to drink alcohol. There's no two ways about it. Whether it's a larger social issue or whatever, the stigma with alcohol exists in college. However, that's a discussion for another time.

That being said, a friend of mine was recently "written up" by an Resident Advisor for "violating alcohol policy." This particular case pissed me off for a number of reasons- the first being that the guy who wrote us up was a friend of mine. Another was that the Judicial Affairs officer only sanctioned my buddy out of the 20 or so people who were in the room.

One of my buddy's punishments was to write a letter home to his parents explaining the situation. If you think Greg spotted a wonderful opportunity for satire, you're right. Here is the letter that I submitted on his behalf, COMPLETELY UN-EDITED, never expecting it to actually be approved. The beauty of it is, that Judicial Affairs, after reviewing it, actually sent it to his parents. Ah, the beauty of bureaucracy.


November 30, 2005

Dear Mom and Dad,

Today is a sad day for the Howard family. I have let you down in the worst possible way. Please, prepare yourself. This could be devastating, shocking and frankly, unbelievable. Ready? The University thinks I drink beer.

Please allow for a few moments for this to settle in.

Two RAs, on a double secret mission, came to my room and knocked one fateful evening. Although people (most likely irresponsible frat boys like Greg Dunaway), were drinking, I was not. However, since I was in the presence of a controlled substance like beer, I am guilty by association. In the days that followed I went to a lengthy hearing headed by Supreme Judicial Officer, Juan Valles. Juan searched in vain for a way to vindicate me, but in the end held me responsible. I felt betrayed. Juan and I were hombres. Some called us brotheros, which is Spanish for brothers.

The days that followed are now a blur to me. I walked from class to class, but I was dead inside. Suddenly, I understood what had to happen. God have given me one last chance. After praying the rosary and expressing myself through liturgical dancing, I wrote an appeal letter. The Student Appeals Committee was the last beacon of hope, in what had become a stormy sea of lies, deception and beer. So I wrote that letter and waited. And I waited some more.

And at last it came. The Student Conduct Committee left me out to dry like laundry in the Middle Ages. They assigned me the following, very serious and very important sanctions:

1. I have been issued an Official University Warning, telling me how bad I am.

I have to pay a 50 dollar fine, because, frankly, forty thousand dollars a year just doesn’t cut it.

I have been assigned to the Heads UP Judicial program, where I will spend time discussing the problem of drinking during college.

Lastly, I have been assigned to write a very serious letter to you, Madeleine and John, telling you what a bad person I am.

I realize you may in fact be crying with tears of shame. I beg of you, continue, we only have a few more lines. Together we can get through this.

To summarize, I want to express how bad of a person I really I am. Drinking is a very, very, very serious issue. It is serious enough for the University to issue sanctions like nobody’s business and serious enough for me to write to you today. May God Bless LMU and the
United States and have mercy on my soul.

John Michael Howard, PhD, CoOl, GuY


Anonymous Muna said...

Gregory Dunaway. I admire with upmost respect your courage of upholding the Civil Rights of the students of LMU. One day they will realise that like those crazy rednecks in the middle ages that they were wrong.

2:34 PM  

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