First Year Counselor in Stewart Fired

Barrett Smith '13 was fired from his position of FYC Monday night

On Monday night, Barrett Smith ’13 was fired from his position as First Year Counselor (FYC) on the fourth floor of Stewart in Brainerd Commons for letting a guest stay in his room who allegedly made some of his First Years  uncomfortable and potentially endangered their safety.

What Happened?

The guest, a 28-year old man named Luaay from Vancouver, BC, stayed in Smith’s room for one week. Smith, a Classics Major, met Luaay in New York City at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration where they talked for a few hours. Afterwards, Smith offered his room at Middlebury to Luaay as a place to sleep if his travels brought him through Vermont.

Luaay, who has been traveling around the country for the past year, took Smith up on his offer, sleeping in his room and spending his days reading, writing and doing research in the Library and taking trips into town. He mostly bought and cooked his own food, although he did eat in the dining hall on a few occasions.

But during Luaay’s stay at Middlebury, Public Safety received complaints that some of the 38 boys living on Stewart 4 felt uncomfortable with Luaay staying in Barrett’s room.

On Monday November 21 (the day before Luaay planned to leave) Public Safety came to Smith’s room to ask Luaay to leave campus. Because he was not in Smith’s room when they arrived (although his belongings were) and he could not be found on campus, they suspected evasion. Smith maintains that Luaay was visiting his friend in town and unaware that Public Safety wanted to remove him. In any case, their failure to locate him prompted Public Safety to get the Middlebury Police Department involved in finding him.

Two MPD officers, one MPD officer-in-training, and two Public Safety Officers eventually found and surrounded Luaay walking into the foyer of the Davis Family Library. They then issued him an indefinite no-trespass order and escorted him to Smith’s room where he immediately got his belongings and was driven off campus by Smith and another friend.

The Administration’s Response

It is unclear who the made the ultimate decision to fire Smith, but Dean of Brainerd Commons Natasha Chang said in an email, “Decisions with respect to FYC  appointments are generally made by the Commons administration, and may in certain instances include input from the Dean of Students and the Dean of the College.” They presented three lapses in judgement on Smith’s part that they deemed grave enough to question Barrett’s ability to continue his role as FYC.

The first is that Smith brought an older man who, by reasonable standards, he did not know “well” into a hall with his First Years, which posed a safety risk. Two incidents made the issue of student safety and the lack of experience Smith had with Luaay more pressing. The first occurred when a female custodian and a male student found Luaay naked in the shower of the boy’s bathroom drip-drying his hair, which Dean of the College Shirley Collado referred to as, “inappropriate nudity,” in her statement. He also apparently urinated in a cup in the doorway of the Stewart 2 lounge in the presence of a group of First Year girls.

Philip Chang ’15 who lives two doors down from Smith said, “I didn’t feel threatened or scared or anything, but to be honest if it was up to me I wouldn’t have had him there, it was not a positive experience for me. But I respected Barrett and his decision [to let Luaay stay with him] and did not to have an issue with it.”

A whiteboard on the door of a room on Stew 1

Secondly, the Deans indicated that when First Years told Smith they felt uncomfortable with Luaay living on the hall, he responded based on what he thought was comfortable and appropriate and did not take other people’s ideas into consideration, which was deemed an unacceptable response given his position as FYC.

Smith acknowledged that Luaay had strange habits and did not look like many people on this campus (he is a large African-American man with dreadlocks), but he said, “In the week I spent with Luaay, he showed no signs that he was a ‘threat’ in any way and no residents raised concerns to me or any other Res Life member about safety. If there had been safety concerns, I would have been the first to ask him to leave.”

After one student approached Smith about his discomfort with Luaay, Smith offered to introduce the student to Luaay, but did not say he would ask Luaay to leave. Smith now says,”there is a difference between feeling unsafe and uncomfortable, but I should have done more to tease out that difference, and that was one of my mistakes.”

A third reason for Smith’s firing, is that he initially lied to Public Safety about how long he had known Luaay, telling them he was a friend from home. Smith says of the incident, “I was just not thinking.” Half an hour after telling them this, he went back to Public Safety to tell them the truth, and later on still, he sent Public Safety a formal apology for his actions.

Finally, he broke a loosely enforced rule (number 28 in Section A of Residential Policies in the Student Handbook) that a guest can only stay with a student for three days.

“In accordance with College procedures, Public Safety investigated the matter, and found the guest’s behavior to be concerning and completely unacceptable… FYCs are expected to observe College rules, and in that regard serve as role models to the students in their residence halls. In accordance with the rules, and like all Middlebury students, FYCs are also responsible for the conduct of their guests,” said Dean Collado in her statement.

Smith says of the firings, “I realize that I made some big mistakes, some really serious mistakes, but at the same time this has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me, for the Brainerd Res Life team, for the entire campus’s Res Life Team, and I’ve grown in a lot of ways and I regret that I wont be able to have the chance to apply my learning to being an FYC still.”

Race and Class

Many issues have been brought up surrounding the administration’s reaction to Luaay’s stay, one of which is the role of race and class in how the situation was handled. Smith brought this up in a post on the Gadfly, Midd’s underground publication, where he described Luaay’s detainment by five MPD officers, and Public Safety’s disrespectful and brusque treatment of both Smith and Luaay. He thought MPD’s involvement and Luuay’s indefinite expulsion from the campus were both excessive.

Community Response

The Stew 4 boys. FYCs Barrett Smith and Nial Rele are in front.

The bigger controversy, however, is the fairness of Smith’s firing and the impact it will have on his hall and the greater Brainerd community. “I’m most concerned about the community in Stew because I think losing an FYC is a big change. I don’t see how this decision benefits anyone, especially my First Years,” said Smith, unanimously considered by those who know him as an exceptional FYC. He is largely responsible for what is widely known as one of the closest-knit Freshmen halls on the campus, fondly nicknamed by some as the “Frat.”

Dean Chang said in an email,”I sincerely hope that the students in Stewart and all of Brainerd Commons would recognize the importance of the FYC’s position as a role model, and I trust that all of these students appreciate the expectations the college community has of an FYC.”

But there has been a large outcry among his First Years and others in the community about his firing, some of which has been collected on this blog, go/barrett. First Years on Stew 4 have also started petitions demanding Smith’s reinstatement.

Many who contributed to the “Keep Barrett Here” blog feel that termination was too extreme of a punishment, and also compromised the best interest of those living on Stew 4 and the Brainerd community.

Smith’s co-FYC Nial Rele ‘12 said, “The Commons may have hired Barrett, but to have the sort of bonds that he has with our First Years is not written into our contracts and it goes so far beyond the bare necessities of the role, that it seems ludicrous that the Commons has the ability to sever those bonds.”

Philip Chang said,”It really wouldn’t be the same if there was some other upperclassmen living two doors over. Seeing Barrett everyday walking in and out is comforting, he is always there to talk to, always happy. I think the balance between him and Nial is perfect for our floor.”

Was the Process Fair?

Smith, Rele, and many First Years on Stew 4 also question the process by which he was fired. “Natasha and Roman [Graf, Head of Brainerd Commons] consulted with other students and our Res Life Team about the incident, but I’m concerned that the voices of the community were not heard concerning my job and an administrative response,” said Smith.

The administration could also have put Smith on probation. This would mean the administration would monitor him, but he would still keep his role as FYC.

There also appears to be no clear way to appeal the decision, which Smith is now in the process of figuring out. “I am continuing to meet with various Deans to clear up all of my questions and concerns,” he said.

“I really respect that the administration needs to take some sort of action. I just don’t know if complete dismissal is the answer,” said Philip Chang in conclusion.

What Do You Think?

Does Barrett Smith deserved to be fired? Was the process by which he was fired fair? How should we view guests in our community? How open should Middlebury be, who should we be open to?

(Update) The Campus’s coverage

The Campus came out with a front page article today mostly concerning the events surrounding the indefinite No Trespass order issued to Luaay. They also wrote their editorial about the discussion of race that the series of events has started. An op-ed written by a group of Stew 4 First Years was also printed, as was a “Letter to the Editor” by Sam Murray ’13 about Barrett’s firing.

Advertisements

70 thoughts on “First Year Counselor in Stewart Fired

  1. Barrett was fired for speaking out against the administration in his Gadfly post, not for keeping a guest. This much is obvious to anyone who observes how the College administration continually squashes dissent.

    How about this for a campaign?: “KEEP BARRETT; EXPEL RAPISTS.” ‘Cause gosh knows how many of those we gladly allow to remain on campus, including some who were expelled but whom Daddy’s money brought back.

    • Anon, when does the administration squash dissent? And no, he was not fired for just keeping a guest. He was fired for keeping a guest who acted inappropriately, even illegally I might argue, made many feel uncomfortable, and then he lied to PubSafe and the police. And then yeah, his stuff on Gadfly didn’t help, especially when he, as a member of Brainerd’s ResLife team, spoke so harshly against the administration while not presenting the whole situation.

      Keeping rapists on campus? This is not at all a valid point, as none of us actually know if any are on campus. And to say that the school would “gladly” keep them is ridiculous. And I would love to know who has ever been expelled from Middlebury but been allowed back in because of their parents’ wealth. “Valid point here!”? I really hope that was sarcastic…

    • If you aren’t aware of the ways in which the administration squashes dissent, 1) you’re not looking very hard, and 2) I encourage you to dissent in a visible and vocal way and see what happens.

      If you aren’t aware of the repeated instances of rapists being found guilty of sexual assault and then allowed to remain on campus—including particular instances of expulsion and readmittance, sometimes before the window for appeal has even opened!—I don’t know what to tell you. I’m certainly not going to describe such instances in detail here lol.

  2. Classic uninformed middlebury. The administration at this school is an absolute joke. Barrett is one of best people I have ever known and the fact that the school fired him instead of just putting him on strict probation is absolutely ridiculous and a clear example of anon’s point that they are just trying to squash dissent. Chang you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself as you have clearly failed in your job as a Dean- you have ruined one of the best parts of Brainerd commons with your ruling. You might as well sign up officer Marcy as an FYC because that is the atmosphere you are creating and the precedent you have now set. Unbelievable.

  3. Barrett- I appreciate you admitting the mistakes you made, and agree that the administration’s response was disproportionate and inappropriate.

    I’d also like to echo the first comment; the idea that there may just be a correlation in the dangerous kinds of folks we keep around and their identity. I personally feel a lot more threatened by the people who regularly and drunkenly break lights, windows, and furniture and harass / assault women than I do naked people.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  4. Am I the only one who understands this dismissal? I understand that Barret is a great guy, and I even understand that his heart was in the right place for opening up his room, but that does not excuse his actions. While he was not the one to expose himself to girls or act…oddly in the bathroom, he is responsible for the actions of his guest. FYC’s ought to be held to a high standard, and in my opinion he fell short of that standard. Barrett hardly knew this man and to invite him into a dorm is highly irresponsible. We must live with the consequences of our actions, and it is unfortunate that this happened to such a nice guy.

    • “There is a difference between feeling unsafe and uncomfortable.”

      There is no proof he “exposed” himself to the girls.

      The way you say acting “oddly in the bathroom” just because he was naked sounds very homophobic.

    • barrett supporter, don’t impose homophobia into this. what in Polebaum’s writing made you even think of homophobia? acting oddly, yeah, acting oddly because he was inappropriately naked and made a custodian incredibly uncomfortable. i’d say that’s odd.

      exposing himself to girls via peeing in a cup in their proximity. not exposing himself in how one would think of it immediately, but i’m going to guess that he wasn’t peeing into a cup behind a sheet.

      safety and comfort. 2 things an FYC is supposed to cultivate on their hall.

  5. Picked up at Occupy. Overstayed, made dorm-mates uncomfortable. Good riddance. And you can’t have residence staff breaking multiple rules.

  6. I am going to have to agree with Michael. If it were a friend that Barrett brought into his room, I would be with the rest of you guys on this in saying that the school was wrong to fire him. However, he invited someone he did not know to stay in a dorm with other people who also didn’t know him. For all anyone knows, this guy could have been a sexual offender (I’m not saying that he was, I’m just saying that it’s possible).

    The fact of the matter is, Barrett made a really big mistake and he has to deal with the consequences of that mistake. Does it suck? I mean, he was an amazing FYC, but that doesn’t mean he was better than any other FYC that would’ve gotten the same treatment. Honestly, if it were a mediocre FYC with this same story, there wouldn’t be nearly as much fuss about this.

    So, I understand why people are upset (he’s a nice guy, an amazing FYC, and didn’t intend any harm), BUT what he did put a lot of people at risk and, even if he swore never to do something like that again, he demonstrated really poor judgment and something like that just can’t be risked again.

    • I can make the same argument about you.

      You came in here, we didn’t really know you or anything about you.

      For all anyone knows, you could be a sexual offender (I’m not saying that you are, I’m just saying that it’s possible).

      You fail to realize what we lose with him gone. He is not just some FYC, he is our FYC, so we should support him.

    • but Anonymous is a student and the school would undoubtedly know if he/she were a sexual offender. and the school can handle discipline issues with a student. Luaay was a complete stranger- there’s a BIG difference. the school can’t give Luaay a citation or write a letter to his parents or place him on probation. he had to be kicked off campus.

      you, barrett supporter, fail to realize what was lost when Barrett facilitated Luaay being on campus, and most importantly in Stew. the people who complained felt so uncomfortable with the situation that they didn’t feel OK going to Barrett, Nial, the CRA, or Dean Chang. they turned to PubSafe. and that right there is a huge problem.

      support Barrett yes, but stay in touch with reality and realize he has to face consequences for irresponsibility as an FYC, despite being a great FYC at all other times and a great, great guy. he’ll still be on campus to give you advice, be your friend, and help guide you. but it has been deemed that he shouldn’t be given the responsibility of being an FYC in Stew any longer.

  7. Hey everyone,

    This is Olivia Noble ’13, co-lead editor of Middblog.

    I’ve written a letter expressing my opinions on this matter that I posted on the blog mentioned in the article. You can see it here: http://blogs.middlebury.edu/keepbarretthere/2011/12/07/on-the-firing-of-barrett-smith-olivia-noble-13/

    For obvious reasons, I have not participated in the writing of this article.

    To respond to some of your comments however, I would argue that personality and the fact that Barrett was such an excellent FYC play an enormous role in the argument that he was wrongfully let go. As the position of FYC is so central to a large group of freshmen’s lives as they navigate through their first year at Middlebury, I feel that Barrett’s role as an effective FYC should have played a role in the administration’s decision-making process.

    I am not arguing that Barrett did not make a mistake, nor am I arguing that students did not justifiably feel uncomfortable. I am merely saying that I think the punishment does not match the crime, and that the punishment will have serious repercussions far beyond those that began this debate.

    -Olivia

  8. “There is a difference between feeling unsafe and uncomfortable.” YES. This is a really important distinction, and one that I think that the Middlebury community often fails to make. And, as Rhiya and Anon point out, there are plenty of genuinely unsafe practices at Middlebury that deserve to be addressed seriously.

    I don’t know Barrett well enough to speak for his character or his merits as an FYC. Regardless, this story really rubs me the wrong way. I’m disturbed by the Middlebury administration’s lack of transparency, and I, for one, have many unanswered questions about this. Would Luaay been surrounded by five officers if he were not a large black man with dreadlocks? If Luaay had been a white prep-school grad visiting from the Boston area (who was occasionally stood around naked and peed in cups), would he have been considered a threat? Kicking people off campus is easy, as is firing people for letting them enter in the first place. Engaging in constructive dialogue is much more difficult. Only one of those options makes us a stronger community…

    Also, why no Campus coverage? Why no middblog coverage until now? This is news, people.

    • if students complained of being uncomfortable with an older white prep-school grad student who merited those feelings of discomfort (especially from the same accused actions we see here) and then Barrett had lied to Public Safety about who he was and then was possibly evading PubSafe and was also technically not supposed to be on campus, i’m fairly willing to bet that the same actions of law enforcement would have ensued and he definitely would have been kicked off campus. why would he merit being allowed to stay?

      i know directly that there was a solid week of constructive dialogue within the Brainerd Commons reslife team, involving the upper administration and Public Safety as well. this is a decision that is not appropriate for the entire student body to weigh in on. but as with all controversial issues that arise here, i’m sure there will be an open dialogue of some sort on this issue, as well as a more transparent statement from the administration. there always is, even if it doesn’t resolve any frustrations. always have to remember that there are things that can’t be disclosed for legal purposes too. frustrating, but true.

  9. On the one hand I’m troubled to read that students reported discomfort with the situation to Barrett and that Barrett did not respond in a way that eased their discomfort, a response which seems to have prompted this series of events (leading students to contact public safety).

    On the other hand, the situation begs the question – if the guest had not been a large black man with dreadlocks, but rather a middle-class white male or female who blended in with the student body and thus was not perceived as a potential “threat,” would Barrett’s punishment have been equally harsh? I kind of doubt it. And I think even the students’ discomfort must beg the same question – though I can easily imagine that the presence of an un-vetted older stranger on a freshman hall, regardless of his race or class, could be cause for discomfort in its own right. I know if I were a freshman who was already in a semi-freaked-out state (the freshman condition), there is a good chance I would react negatively to the extended stay of any stranger on my hall. This situation presents us with as good an opportunity as any to question and refine what EXACTLY is the source of our discomfort with such a situation – IS it just this person’s presence, or is it also his race and his class? If it’s the former, that is sufficient grounds for him to be reported to and removed by public safety. If it’s also the latter, that is problematic. Though if we’re going to raise the possibility of the latter, I guess it would be impossible to make the case that race and class did not play a factor in student discomfort and institutional response, because how can we know that they were not factors on a subconscious level?? And maybe that’s the point…

    I agree with some of the above commentors that Barrett exhibited poor judgment. But I think the questionable harshness of Barrett’s punishment potentially has as much, or even more, to do with Luuay’s race/class identity as Luuay’s questionable treatment by the police/public safety. Maybe the poorest judgment call was Barrett’s assumption that our institution would treat Luuay’s extended stay like any of the other extended stays made by white upper-middle-class guests of Middlebury students.

  10. Anyone who is out blaming Dean Chang (who is obviously forced to take credit for this disastrous decision) does not understand the first thing about institutional politics at Middlebury. It was well know to the entire Brained Commons Residential Life that Barrett was a terrific FYC.

    The last thing a Dean wants is to have her staff reshuffled mid-year. This decision reeks of power exerted from the top down. I would also bet he was severely punished for his original post to the gadfly, or so it seems.

    • any student, including residential life, are allowed to express their opinion about any aspect of the school. his posts to gadfly may not have been a wise move considering the delicate situation he suddenly found himself in, but there is no way that those posts weighed anywhere nearly as heavily as his actions did. and sure, the upper administration may have been involved, but they often are. don’t be hasty too conclude that it was the faceless administration making all the calls.

    • oh, they’re hardly faceless. we know their names. we also know what they think and do about people who publicly question their judgment.

  11. i do not have an opinion on whether he should be fired, i just want to point out that he was fired from a contractual position at the college; it’s not like he was expelled or kicked out. he still benefits from all of the privileges that we get as middlebury students.

    i am much more concerned about the treatment of the visitor who was staying with. it seems like how he was ‘handled’ should be more of a concern to our community.

    • That really doesn’t matter. Honestly, what matters is that he was a STRANGER who didn’t know anyone on campus except for a person he’d met at a protest for a few hours. That was it. This isn’t about numbers, Jones, and he wasn’t a student, he was a stranger. So whether he was on campus or not doesn’t matter, his status as a stranger to the Middlebury College community is what’s important here.

    • ZOMG A STRANGER?!?!

      DANGER!!!!!1!ELEVENTY!!

      Thank heavens we treat all strangers to our community like this, though, amirite?!

  12. I am throughly sickened by this institution, and this only makes me lose faith in our campus as a whole. Maybe the institution should try and create more conversation regarding issues like this? Is the institution just blinded by sheer ignorance as to the other threats on campus? indecent nudity? What about people who drunkingly expose their naked bodies and run through the halls on weekends? How come issues like this aren’t getting addressed as well?

    • the “institution” is not blind. don’t forget that there are very real and very open-minded people behind this “institution” who are very far from being “ignorant”. indecent nudity? sure, it is a problem. that’s why if people are caught, they are punished. just as how if an FYC is found to be grossly breaking his contract and the honor code of the school, he/she too will be punished.

      if you want to see issues addressed, don’t be passive- go do something about it.

    • Why cant people speak out in this manner regarding all issues that occur on campus (vandalism, alcohol related issues, etc). It seems that all of these campus life aspects would be concerning to our community, yet we only speak out about a friend who was released from their position in Res Life. Really???? C’mon people. Let’s put a little more effort into some of the other important matters on our campus.

  13. i’d just like to put a good word in for dean chang. she is incredibly sensitive to issues of class and race, and i have no doubt she has deeply considered how those factors may have played into this incident. we’re all going easy on barrett, so i think we should give the administration a little credit too. we are calling for a constructive dialogue between the administration and the students, but with our attacks we give them no space to create one.

    • Because “we’re all going easy on Barrett…we should give the administration a little credit too”???

      Do you have ANY idea how hierarchies and power differentials operate? Wow.

  14. Residents are actually supposed to notify their RAs if they are having guests, and hosts are also supposed to register guests with Public Safety. Since Barrett is an FYC, it seems the proper protocol would have been for him to host this gentlemen for three days and to let his residents know that he was doing so. Of course, students rarely register guests at Middlebury, but as an FYC who has gone through all of the proper training, Barrett had to have known that he was putting his job at risk if anything went wrong.

    In my opinion, once residents started complaining about the guest, Barrett had a responsibility to immediately ask the guest to leave. As an RA you have to take complaints seriously, even if they are exaggerated or unfounded (not to say that these specific complaints necessarily were). It seems possible that Barrett could have permanently lost the confidence of a few of his residents with how he handled their concerns, and that this could have been a contributing factor to his dismissal. If this is the justification that the deans are giving, I have to agree with them. On the other hand, I agree that this dismissal is completely reprehensible if it is in any way politically motivated, but Barrett did such a poor job with damage control in this particular scenario that we’ll really never know.

    What is more important here is Barrett’s inaction once his guest became an issue more than the initial decision to offer the guest a place to stay. I think the administration would have cut Barrett some slack if he had booted the guest out when became a problem.

    • RA-

      I understand your points and I agree that Barrett made a poor judgement call in not accurately responding to the lack of comfortability with the situation from his frehsmen.

      I would like to correct one of your points however. Once Barrett was informed of Public Safety’s No Tresspass order, he complied with the department, attempting to help find Luaay and take him off campus. He in no way attempted to stall the process. Public Safety did not give him the chance to remove Luaay on his own, nor did they give Barrett any advanced notice of their impending removal. Barrett having a broken foot certainly did not speed along the process, but he did not intentionally stall the process.

      -Olivia Noble

    • I wasn’t quite claiming that, Olivia, even though he did provide a false statement to Public Safety that was innocuous enough. According to this article, Barrett’s residents came to him before Public Safety was notified. I agree that if Public Safety had been contacted by his residents first then that wouldn’t have been fair. But to my understanding this is now what happened.

    • “poor job with damage control”

      i love that the expectation that so many people have is that when the institution is punishing you, if you do anything other than remain silent you deserve what’s coming. makes this administration’s job pretty easy, yes?

    • “damage control” = a) lying to public safety b) inviting his guest to stay for a week c) not registering his guest d) not booting his guest out when his residents felt uncomfortable. I guess you can add his gadfly post to all that as well, but it’s hardly what I had in mind.

  15. As a former FYC myself, I am fully behind this firing.
    You are first and foremost as an FYC responsible for the safety and wellbeing of your freshman. This means giving up some rights and taking on responsibilities. It is in no way, shape or form acceptable to bring a complete stranger you met in the middle of a protest in NY to live with you in any of our dorms, but especially not a freshman dormitory. The fact that Barrett initially lied to public safety about the length of time he knew this man shows that he instinctively knew there was something wrong here. First semester freshman are out of place, uncomfortable, unfamiliar with their surroundings, and still really very young. This man should never have been allowed to stay for more than a day or two anyway, but the second someone expressed being uncomfortable with him in their HOME he should immediately have been asked to leave.
    Barrett may be a great guy, but he made poor decisions that were detrimental to the wellbeing of his charges, as well as naive and irresponsible. His firing was not only just but well deserved.

  16. Perhaps Luaay’s presence was comforting to some of the students who come from a more diverse cultural background to see someone who brings a little difference to Middlebury’s otherwise [racially and socioeconomically] homogenous student body. It’s frightening to imagine the number of people who saw Luaay passing by and thought to themselves, “what is HE doing here?” Why is it so easy to spot people with superficial differences? Is the reason we’re able to get away with open dining halls and libraries that we’re confident we’ll be able to spot “outsiders”?

    • this isn’t about race. let it go. if people want more diversity, bring it up with admissions. if you want a 28 year old on campus, go to a university with graduate programs.

    • If you really don’t think race plays into this issue anon, then you are clearly misinformed. If it was a white male, who did the same things as Luaay, would all of this be happening? Would the students have reacted in the same way? Or would it be a completely different scenario?

    • yes, i do think all of the same actions would have taken place. another comment in here by Kate macfarlane refers to the hypothetical scenario of an older preppy grad school student visiting someone here and if the same thing would happen as they did with Luaay. and yes, i agree with the anon of that response, that if an older well-put together white man behaved in the same way that Luaay did, to the extent that it made students on Barrett’s hall, and students throughout Stew, uncomfortable and concerned, that the school would react in the same way. peeing in a cup with girls in the room? standing naked in a bathroom and scaring custodial? and simply being substantially older and a complete stranger to not only our community but also to Barrett? i would absolutely talk to someone of authority, from an FYC to Commons Dean, about it. i’d be very concerned.

      don’t you see how race isn’t involved? it’s not about skin color. it’s about the actions of Luaay, the environment of discomfort that was developed, and Barrett’s irresponsibility to both allow a stranger to stay with him for so long and to not recognize that some of his students were uncomfortable, to the extent that it was PubSafe they turned to and not their ResLife support system, the very system that should be used first in incidents like this.

      so stop bringing race into this. recognize it as the issue that it is- that an FYC was irresponsible and unresponsive to the discomfort that his guest was creating within Stew.

    • Here’s how this works: if you want to say race played no role, fine. Which is to say, fine IF AND ONLY IF you simultaneously can acknowledge that Middlebury College has institutionalized racism in specific ways and is located in a country that operates on systemic racism.

      If you think that Middlebury College isn’t inherently racist, though, I have zero interest in hearing your sad musings about the role race might or might not have played in this situation.

  17. “The administration” was put in a no-win situation and did what they had to by firing Barrett. When he lied, he crossed a line that he couldn’t jump back from. Not being a member of “the administration” I can’t vouch for what happened behind the scenes, though I’m sure it was an excruciating decision to let go of such a smart, well-liked CRA. But he was hired for his leadership and good judgement and in an honor-code based community, what choice did he leave them?

    Barret’s lie about his relationship with his visitor was one of several serious lapses in judgement. The good news is that college, unlike the real world, can forgive occasional judgement lapses. We’re all fortunate that Barrett will continue as a member of the Middlebury community and a friend to the first-years he counseled as a CRA.

  18. Suspicion that this is about race and socioeconomic background is absurd. Dean Collado and Dean Chang most certainly do not have an ounce of racism in them. Accusations of the administration being a joke and a machine and inconsiderate, well, those are absurd too. We are at one of the most progressive and socially liberal schools in the nation. I am fully confident that this very difficult decision took a very long time to make, with much painful deliberation, and that they have made the best call considering all parts of the equation.

    Many people on here can complain, but I think few know the full story (myself included) and even fewer are able to view this issue from the viewpoint of all the players involved: student, ResLife staff, Commons, and upper administration. Go ahead and be a social activist, but take into full account all pieces of the puzzle. This seems to be the downfall of our generation’s efforts to make change- blindness to anything but that which we support or want.

    And as a current member of residential life on this campus and a friend of Barrett’s, his firing was the definite right decision. I’m sure its undoubtedly tough to see a great guy leave his position and his hall, but if someone screws up, they have to face the consequences. In this case, the consequence was indeed severe, but also just.

  19. How can you say that if he were a mediocre FYC, there wouldn’t be this much fuss and use it to support your logic that this shouldn’t be a big issue? No comprendo, amigo. You’re simultaneously asserting that though you don’t know Luaay’s character it’s justifiable for you to imagine a hideous non-sequitur that he may have the inclination to sexually violate someone? Is this mic on? Are you hearing yourself? Apparently we’ve taken ‘stranger danger’ a little too far.

    I’m appealing to the portion of this community that has qualms with the reactionary efforts to reinstate Barret. Listen. We all spend countless hours engaging with material for each of our classes that at some point or another touches on the concept of injustice, and I understand the difficulties of relating theory to life practice but if you could, just for the purposes of this exorcise, pull your faces out of the rule books you might start to see that these little acts of injustice measure up to something that implicates the precedents we’re setting for our future.

    To current reslife – the idea that this is inherently racist isn’t necessarily a character accusation of the individuals involved in the decision making process. It’s the institution of racism that they’re reifying through the decisions that they have made. The processes of communication were nowhere to be found throughout Luaay’s removal from this campus. I was by his side the entire time the officers were ushering him out. He was given no opportunity to speak and, in fact, referred to as an object of threat rather than an individual of merit. Luaay was an interesting person with a lifetime of experiences that gave new perspective to those who were able to talk with him. Unfortunately, unless you were one of the five MiddKids rolling into the McDonalds for McMunchies that evening, no one was able to gain access to the potential for conversation. Measures taken by our administration such as these only serve to deteriorate the ‘communities’ they so adamantly advertise to incoming freshmen and trustees. This semester has seen numerous incidents that testify to the contrary. We’re not homogenous, but some people are trying to be. You have a place for your opinions, but keep your minds open and, please, remove the Middlebury College handbook from the pedestal on which you left it.

    • withthebarre- all well said. i’m glad its not the individuals, especially Chang and Collado, that you’re accusing of racism. but if they, and the administration at large, do not have racist thoughts or motives, then how is enforcing the law reifying racism? they removed Luaay because of his actions and the uncomfortable environment that some students in Stew felt. if he had been a person of any race, the same action would have been taken.

      my issue is that you, and many others, are imposing the issue of race into this when in reality that is not the point. and by imposing race into this, it suddenly becomes a much bigger problem than it should be. i’m sure Luaay was interesting and a valuable person to have met. but he was not a member of the community. we are open to outsiders entering the community for a period of time, but only if they behave appropriately and in accordance with the values we have here at Midd. Luaay did not, so action had to be taken. and remember that individuals of great merit also break rules and are then treated as a threat, to whatever extent is appropriate. its not very typical for the police to let someone defend himself in the moment that they are taking action. his removal from campus was absolutely appropriate. and Barrett as his host also had to be held accountable. huge bummer, i know, but in most jobs if you so blatantly break protocol and even the “spirit” of the job (going beyond the handbook), which he did, then you’re going to face consequences.

      we absolutely need to keep our minds open. but that includes keeping our minds open to how the system actually works. consider Barrett, consider the Commons, consider the administration, consider Public Safety, consider it all.

  20. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments.

    I am Barrett’s co-FYC and I think my opinion is pretty straightforward.

    Barrett made errors in judgement, (at this stage, he would be the last one to deny that) yet I strongly believe that letting him go is the wrong response.

    Barrett must face consequences for his actions, but I do not think his dismissal is the correct response considering (a) Barrett’s firing has a very real and significant negative impact on my hall and the rest of Stewart, (b) there is no precedent for what the appropriate punishment for such actions is, (c) the process of investigation and deliberation leading up to Barrett being fired left out significant stakeholders and he was not provided with the adequate knowledge and avenues to present his case before the decision was rendered.

    To the other Reslife staffers who have participated in this discussion; The Brainerd Reslife team (the FYCs and RAs) decided unanimously to request that Barrett be kept on as an FYC. We know, from the insider’s perspective (and do not see this situation as black-and-white but nuanced), how important he is to the fabric of this community and we are afraid of what impact his loss would have on Stewart.

    We all considered this decision, as a Reslife team, as being very important and I know that a lot of thought was put behind every vote- but in the end, we were united in standing up for what we think would be the most beneficial outcome for our kids. Barrett erred, but we cannot afford to have our first years pay for that also.

    There is nothing abstract or unreasonably emotional about what I mean by his removal would impact our community negatively. I have had the unique privilege of serving as Barrett’s FYC, then RA and now serve with him on this hall as his co-FYC. And I make this stance in the best interest of my first years. Our efforts, as a Reslife team, would suffer a considerable set-back if he were to leave.

    Other than the Reslife team’s opinion, the first years in Stewart, as far I can see, overwhelmingly believe (quite vocally and actively, I should add) that Barrett should stay on in Stewart. It has been quite heartening to see them come together and independently seek to make their voices heard. At that point, backing them up is it the most reasonable and responsible thing for me to do.

    I find it difficult to buy into the argument that the administration did and must play this situation ‘by the book’. First of all, in this case, there seems to be no precedent and thus no ‘book’. Additionally, the purpose of the Commons is first and foremost to foster a strong community. I don’t think that this charge of the Commons was considered as importantly as it should have, in the decision-making process.

    At the end of the day, firing Barrett does not improve our situation at all. I ask the question, who gains from this? Who is any safer? No one in their right mind will claim that Barrett is a threat to the hall and therefore should move out. Barrett, the rest of the Reslife team and our students have grown tremendously over the last couple of weeks. So let us take a step back, take these events into our stride, and move on as stronger, united and intact community.

  21. It confuses me how many people fail to see the bottom line here. When you are hired to perform a job, and you fail to meet those expectations, actions are taken (up to and including termination). This is no different than any other employment opportunity.

    Barrett was in a position of a Res Life member, and as such, was a person whose goals should have been to protect the residents of Stewart Hall. Inviting a person you haven’t known for very long into a residential dorm that you are a Res Life member in, not properly acknowledging the expressed residents concerns, and providing information to officers that wasn’t the truth are all blatant signs that Middlebury College took the correct actions.

    There have been several references that Barrett hasn’t provided the honest facts to the Officers, the Blog websites, or the Campus Newspaper. Why should the public believe that he has provided the honest facts to anyone.

  22. For you, the bottom line is the law and the conditions of his employment, which is in this scenario, vague- but, no matter. For me, the bottom line is my first years and their wellness.

    Is there no alternate punishment that keeps this hall intact and happy? It is the incorrect action to make Barrett, who is not a threat to the community, leave and not consider the students for whom the Commons and this job exists for, in the first place.

    And I will not stand for accusations that Barrett has been dishonest with any interviews or other information he has provided since the incident. He was dishonest with the officers that one time and has apologized for that right after it happened. But I will not stand for someone, especially when they prefers not to identify themselves, attempting to discredit Barrett.

    • I respect your concern for your first years’ wellness, but wasn’t the wellness of some students compromised by Barrett allowing Luaay to stay for so long and create an atmosphere in which some students didn’t feel comfortable, uncomfortable to the extent that they eventually turned to PubSafe?

      Barrett is indeed not a threat to the community. And he’s not leaving. He can still be a very valuable member of our community. I am sure that it disrupts the hall dynamic in a big way, but clearly so did Luaay’s presence and very, very questionable actions (for some, even if it wasn’t the majority that felt the disruption by him). Barrett has to deal with that, as unfortunate as that is.

  23. Were you present for Barrett’s apologies to the Officers? If not…it would appear that you are going by what info Barrett has provided you. I’m not asking anyone to be in favor of Barrett’s dismissal, or to except the fact that there have been several instances of dishonesty. Understanding that Barrett is a “good guy” doesn’t excuse the actions that occurred.

    If you want to consider the students who you refer to above (“It is the incorrect action to make Barrett, who is not a threat to the community, leave and not consider the students for whom the Commons and this job exists for, in the first place”), I would think the thought of a Res Life member who doesn’t respond to his/her residents’ concerns in an appropriate manner would be more concerning than having to accept the fact that a friend was dismissed from his/her position. Maybe that’s just me.

  24. No one is claiming he did nothing wrong. But to put things in the context of the larger picture, his missteps during that short period of time are outweighed by the good he has done and hopefully will continue to do for the hall (and he cannot, to respond to ADM, play the same role and have the same impact on the Brainerd community if he does not live in Stew). If the community was hurt by these events, which I agree it was, then why hurt it further with this form of reprimand?

    And guys, maybe its just me, but I find it really difficult to take points seriously if they are coming from anonymous posters. I do not think I have the right to judge people for their opinions on this matter and I promise that I wont. But for this to be a constructive conversation, I would challenge you all to sign your names to the post.

  25. And I was not present for when Barrett was speaking with the Officers but I believe what he says. And considering there isn’t a conflict between what he says he said and what Pubsafe says he said, this is a non-issue. He accepted that he was dishonest with Pubsafe and crutched over to the Pubsafe building to apologize for that right after it happened.

  26. 1. I wonder whether an objective discussion of this incident requires names, especially when what is said, not the person who said it, should be evaluated for its merits.

    2. No one is above the law. Is Nial (and others) advocating a consequentialist approach – that the good Barrett will bring to the hall will outweigh his mistake and accountability?

    If so, then to what extent can Barrett knowingly violate college policies, his duties, and the trust placed in him, without deserving to be removed from his post? Because as long as “missteps during that short period of time are outweighed by the good he has done” , he is essentially exempt from taking accountability that he disagrees with. And WHO, by the way, should decide this? Some students? Students who like him? What about students who disagree? A vote by “affected students”?

    As such, can such a consequentialist approach be taken for ALL College Policies? That the punishment/consequences be based on a) How much good the person has done, b) How much good we think he/she will bring in the future c) A person’s popularity ?

    So, I would like to ask, if an A-student is caught violating the honor code at Middlebury. Should the Judicial Board and his/her professor take into the student’s past work (all A’s), intellectual and enriching contributions to class discussions, future contributions as a TA or RA, and therefore allow this student to not Fail the class.

    I support giving people second chances. In fact, I would support a petition asking the administration to consider giving him a second chance. HOWEVER, asking for a second chance is very different from demanding one, or calling it “incorrect”.

    Basically, Barrett and those (if any) who knowingly condoned his actions have lost their moral authority or high ground. First, recognize that. Then I think no one will disagree with a petition for a second chance.

    Midd senior

    • New Poster,

      I agree that no one is above the law. No one is advocating for Barrett not to be held accountable. What we want to do is consider responses that will not have such a drastic, negative effect on Stew 4 and the Stewart community as a whole.

      I regret if it seems like I am making demands, that was not my intention. Considering the issue holistically and with an eye towards our community in Stewart, we are asking the administration to reconsider and work towards a better and more inclusive solution. We believe this will require dialogue that involves Barrett, our Res Life team and the community.

      The outright removal of a member of our community does not seem like the best response to help us heal and move forward. I cannot imagine this hall without Barrett, honestly. All that we have put so many hours into, all that we have worked for is in jeopardy. And this is what drives me to fight for keeping him here.

  27. As a past FYC, I appreciate the decision that was made. Our jobs are about a lot more than creating community; safety is one of the most important parts. At the same time, I wonder about the politics behind it. I am concerned that there have been much more serious incidents, including a case in which an FYC sexually harassed his students two years in a row without being definitively fired. Instead, he was asked whether he would like to leave, and there was no public accountability or reparations to the students. I do not understand why he was not dealt with more strictly, and why the FYC in this article was dealt with so publicly and harshly for a lesser mistake (as opposed to an actual crime).

    • i bet its not really that much of an issue of standardization across commons, but rather changing (and improving, i argue) standards as years go by and the commons deal with issues more appropriately.

      i also think that because the issue was dealt with first by Public Safety rather than less publicly within the Commons by the Dean, this incident went way bigger than it needed to. i have little doubt that if the students who complained had gone to Dean Chang or the CRA rather than PubSafe, who is obviously going to react intensely, that this would have been resolved in a much more sane manner. Luaay probably would have been asked to leave, but Barrett probably would not have been fired. because the situation went past Chang and Brainerd and up to PubSafe and the administration first, Chang’s ability to mediate the situation was compromised. a real shame.

  28. As a freshman girl living in Stewart I would first like to say that Barrett is awesome. He made me feel so welcome in the beginning of school and honestly aided my moving in process a lot. However, I am very uncomfortable with the fact that a 28 year old man was living in my dorm. I don’t care if he is black, white, green, or purple. It doesn’t matter if he rich or poor. What bothers me is the idea that Barrett compromised the safety of everyone living in the dorm. He did not know the guest. I did have interactions with the guest and I was very on edge during them. Again, not because he was black and had dreadlocks, but rather because of the comments said to me. I did not report it to public safety at the time because I was unaware that he was living in my dorm. It is not safe, or okay in any way for a strange 28 year old man to be living with 17-19 year olds. What Barrett did was irresponsible. I am sorry that he is losing his position and he will be greatly missed by the Stew Crew.

  29. This is so infuriating it make me want to go to Church (and I’m 20 paces left of agnostic)

    Stewart Girl and others-

    I’ve been told that I make people uncomfortable when I talk to them- on more than one occasion too. I’ve been called confrontational, uncompromising, and even alienating at times. I have strong opinions and I’m not afraid to share them. Does this disqualify me as “a member of our community?” Perhaps it’s my tuition payments that makes me a member of the ‘community’ (likewise, does that exclude Staff members or Davis Scholars- how about Professors- their children- dogs- what if dogs put me on edge? Or how about alumnae who don’t live here anymore and don’t even have the decency to donate- I know, despicable).

    The idea that we have some kind of cohesive, normative community here makes me sick to my stomach. It is prejudiced, discriminatory, and marginalizing, at the very least. I think it’s openly acknowledged that spacial and social boundaries exist at this college along racial lines (i.e- “why do all the (black/latino/international) students sit together”). Often these boundaries exist along class lines too (not always, but prep school is a pretty good determinant of your social group here, or maybe even entry into a ‘secret’ society).

    To deny this, you are either blind, or an ass. The narrative we tell ourselves, laden with feel-good culturally produced Midd-isms (“professionalism,” “pragmatism”, “globalism” “environmentalism,” “athleticism,” “liberalism”) shield students from thinking critically about the fact that other people exist on this campus who identify or look different. This is the same mindset under which we regularly invoke that we graduated the first African American undergrad but- OOPS WE FORGOT TO MENTION- we just didn’t know it at the time! It is the same mindset under which people on this blog comment “We go to the most ‘liberal’ school- how can you talk about race here!”

    I regularly hear of blatant homophobia and have witness plenty of sexual and gender based violence on this campus. Some of these students, including one who has been accused of RAPE, as well as people who regularly display blatant disregard for common property, remain on this campus, are allowed to remain on this campus, and perpetuate these tendencies weekly. Are they not members of this “imagined community” you speak of? As I hear, it seems some of their parents donate a lot of money, so according to the definition we arrived at above…

    During my freshman year in Stew, a floor-mate, blackout drunk, harassed a female friend of mine in ways that are legally too graphic for a 17 year old (which she may well have been at the time). After chasing her into the dorm room with his penis in hand, on full display, he continued to bang on the door in front of a crowd of gathered onlookers, screaming and calling her name. He was subsequently summoned to talk with his ‘concerned’ dean. No action was taken. Maybe his parents were notified. (NOTE: This was well before Natasha Chang became Brainerd Dean).

    In light of all this, it seems to me that the bigger issue is how this guest was treated. If you want to argue that as an FYC, Barrett is responsible first and foremost with following the rules (i.e- registering guest, three day maximum, especially when people had voiced concern) that’s fine. If the administration chose to fire him for that, I think its problematic, I think it’s unwise, but certainly within their right to do so. Given that Barrett broke the rules of his contract, and made some serious lapses in judgement, including lying to public safety, it’s not my place to make that decision and I will bow out of giving my opinion (sorry Barrett). This is a terrible and difficult situation for all involved- Res-life, Dean Chang, Barrett, Commons Heads, etc. It is inevitable that not everyone would be happy with this decision, and the bad handling of a very public incident (bright idea making a scene like that) surely made things harder.

    That being said, everyone seems to acknowledge that part of Barrett’s role as FYC is to be trusted with making good judgment calls. By supposing this man was a threat to the ‘community,’ you are thereby also implicating Barrett’s good judgment. He may have made some bad judgment’s about handling the aftermath (see above) but that’s not my issue here. The way I see it, logic dictates that if Barrett chose to offer Luuay a place to stay, he had concluded that indeed he did know Luuay well enough. Again, I remind you that Barrett was hired at least partly because of his perceived good judgment. The remaining string says that if Barrett concluded he knew Luaay well enough, and there was hitherto no reason to suspect his good judgment, under what grounds can one possibly consider Luuay a danger? Superficial appearances?

    If you can disagree with this logical construction then I’ll have to flagrantly condemn your ‘anonymous one night stand,’ or conversely, any past-present-future use of the phrase ‘love at first sight.’ Because everyone knows everyone at Middlebury so well, right? Because we’re all the same, right?

    I don’t know Barrett very well, but based on the few conversations we’ve had (and what the blogosphere tends to project) I am fairly positive that he recognized student’s discomfort to be problematic or portraying some biases. I do know he recognizes some of the issues I outlined above. He also seems to be an incredibly sensitive and insightful person, and as an FYC, had the nuance to pick up on this. I would bet he saw it as his job to create a learning opportunity for these students, and by all accounts, he made every effort to do so even though few people took the initiative to get to know Luaay.

    As an active member of the CouchSurfing network (and I know of many other Midd students are as well) I have often let “people I don’t know well” stay in my dorm for a few nights and I (as well as others) have had some of the most profound learning experiences in doing so. According to Luaay’s CouchSurfing account, he is a dedicated pacifist, he abstains from alcohol and drugs, is fluent in three languages, In his own words he is,
    “A strong believer in cultural exchange!
    I strive for better world,for unity,love,tolerance and understanding within humanity.
    We have only one another on this planet,so lets be one!
    In strangers I see new friends whom I haven’t met yet. so come ova hommie!.
    i’ll brew you a cup of tea!!”

    It seems to me that given these qualities, not to mention all the hoopla around alcohol and dorm damage on campus, Luaay is exactly the sort of people we should be inviting into our so-called ‘community’ with open arms.

    Finally in the interest of full disclosure; 1) I lived on Stewart 4, my freshman year, and I walked around that bathroom naked all the time- for goodness sake it’s even a gender separate floor. I would bet that what was disturbing about this particular naked man was that he looked ‘out of place’ and 2) I can’t comment on the specific ‘peeing incident’ but whenever I see drunk people pissing away in public, which is unfortunately way more often than I would like, it is usually in front of crowds of people no less (outside LoFo, the Bunker, on Battell Beach etc). All I’ve ever heard are either words of support or sarcastic heckling.

    Maybe thats just me.

    • Birnbaum, you raise some good points. But I have some issues.

      You may make people uncomfortable, sure, but you’re known and probably trusted by at least some. my take on Luaay is that he made people uncomfortable through his actions and presence as a complete stranger that Barrett hardly even knew. First Years in Stew are reliant on their FYCs to ensure an environment of safety and openness. That was compromised.

      Claiming that those allowed to stay on campus who have committed wrongs because of their parents’ financial donations is a bold statement. it may happen, but it may not. you cannot make blind claims like that. and you also don’t know if that person who was accused of rape and is still here was actually guilty of such a horrible crime.

      There are indeed social divisions on campus, as everywhere in life. but it is my optimistic hope that the divisions are based on common background/interests first and foremost. if you are claiming that international and non-white students are always together because of racial preference by whites to stick together, then would it not also be racism by internationals/non-whites who prefer not to mix with whites? it seems like that is what you are proposing, and i refuse to believe that the majority of students, of any race and background, are actually racist, or racist to such a great extent that it is the primary dictator of social divisions on campus. i think international students stick together primarily because it is easier for them to relate to each other than with a white kid from Boston who easily steps into the swing of things here. in regards to your statement that social divisions are also often along class lines, well, i also think you’re quite wrong. i think the mix of private and public school kids here is excellent. i do think there are divisions based on family/home community wealth perhaps, but you can’t pin that on private vs. public school.

      Barrett was indeed hired based on his good judgment, amongst many other factors, but all humans err at some point and his judgment erred in this instance. its well known that he talked to Luaay for a few hours down on Wall Street and invited him to stay at Midd with him if he ever came through this way. I refuse to believe that he could have really gotten to know him in such a short period of time and in such a specific situation (a protest amongst other like-minded individuals). There would have been nothing wrong with providing Luaay a place to stay for a night or two, and there’s no bad judgment in that. And your logical conclusion that Luaay wasn’t a danger is correct. But that isn’t the point. He wasn’t a “danger” until he acted the way he did. And I don’t think “danger” is the right word. Regardless, that stay became far too prolonged and clearly, as is testament by comments here and the actual complaints to PubSafe, made students throughout Stew feel uncomfortable. once Luaay compromised the safe environment with his various actions, Barrett’s judgment failed. Luaay does indeed seem like the kind of person who would be absolutely fascinating to have around and could definitely be a part of the community. I don’t think anyone can speak against his character, but we can speak against his actions.

      And so yes, we can also speak against the actions of many students here, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. And we should. And people should be held accountable if they too compromise the safety of our community. But Luaay wasn’t a student, so what do we do when the freshmen complained? We can’t write him a citation or put him on probation. All of this would have been easier, as another commenter said above, if this had been handled through Chang and the Commons as opposed to PubSafe. But it wasn’t and this was the course of action that resulted. It sucks, I agree, but it makes sense that he was given a No Trespass order.

      And finally, you may have walked around your single-gender bathroom naked as well, but i’m willing to bet that when a female custodian walked in, you would have covered up and apologized and let her go about her work. Luaay didn’t. And you’re right, people pee in public all the time, and if they’re caught they get a citation for it. But those people are often peeing because they’re both drunk (terrible excuse, i know, but its a factor) and without a nearby bathroom to use. Luaay was sober and peed into a cup in the presence of girls 10 years younger than he while there was a bathroom probably no more than 20 yards away.

      And one last note- don’t be so demeaning (calling people an “ass”, for instance), and tone down your anger. it doesn’t help this dialogue on a very important issue to go in swinging punches like you have.

  30. MiddBlog endorses Barrett Smith ’13 for SCOCC | MiddBlog

Comments are closed.