by James Leonard | Staff Writer
SCRANTON – It is no secret that theft occurs throughout college campuses nationwide. So, what are students at the University of Scranton stealing and why?
Miguel Valencia has taken University-owned desk chairs and tables from study rooms to use as his own in the past.
“I initially took chairs to use when we were watching a movie as a group in my room, but I actually liked the chairs,” Valencia said. “Maintenance saw and I got really scared that I’d be punished. I also took a table. They said it was okay and to put them back when I was done and not to break them.”
Students across campus have differing opinions when it comes to the ethics behind stealing items from campus. Many students agree that stealing non-food items is bad, but food is fair game. Many students, like Sam Durante, even partake themselves.
“I’ve stolen food from the third floor, and I think that’s okay,” Durante said. “Like pizza and cookies and stuff like that. I’ve seen people steal plates, silverware and even all of the bagels in the cabinet on third. I think people shouldn’t steal because if everyone started stealing stuff like chairs and signs, there wouldn’t be much left to use publicly.”
Stealing gets even more serious than taking extra food from a prepaid buffet. Student Dan Coleman has witnessed attempted theft from the small P.O.D on campus.
“I did see someone stealing from small P.O.D once,” Coleman said. “We locked eyes and then he put the candy bar he was about to steal back on the shelf and left.”
Resident assistants are often at the forefront of student misconduct on campus. They have to deal with a lot of adversity throughout dorm halls, and theft is definitely a part of it.
Sophomore RA Kasidy Leggin said he has dealt with the theft of the sign denoting Condron Hall’s room 420 on several occasions.
“Someone would always take it once it was replaced, probably because of the obvious associations of that number with marijuana culture,” Leggin said.
Now junior RA Abbey Donaldson also said she has witnessed several of her residents stealing throughout her time as an RA on campus.
“Every Friday when I was a [first year] RA the same people would steal my decorations every Friday, so I’d wake up early the next morning and put them up again,” Donaldson said.
Additionally, she had a more serious instance of stealing in her dorm.
“There was a klepto who would steal money from her roommates,” Donaldson said. “Everyone knew it was her, but U.P.D couldn’t do anything about it because they couldn’t prove it was her. She’d only steal cash, and you can’t prove that cash is stolen.”
From the harmless act of taking a to-go pizza slice from third floor DeNaples to stealing large cash sums, the degree of theft on campus varies greatly, but it’s a problem shared with colleges and universities across the country.