Door Locks

Having not read Dean Redman’s e-mail (Andrew, your link doesn’t work), I’m not entirely clear on how he connects student publications and commercial deliveries. I must say though, its an interesting new definition of commercial that encompasses publications that are distributed free to all students. The commerce aspect would seem to take place entirely outside of the dorms. This article seems to be saying that Redman’s basis for this decision is an equality argument, that allowing the Review in the dorms but not EBA’s is somehow unjust. How student-run, free distribution journals are equivalent to restaurant deliveries is beyond me, but that’s besides the point.

The real issue is how this relates to safety. The only reason to limit food deliveries is to keep people from entering the dorms who wouldn’t normally be able to. That group doesn’t include students, who already have access. A strong case can be made that letting students deliver food would lead student employees of local establishments to lend their ID’s to non-student employees for delivery purposes, justifying a ban on all deliveries. But this has no applicability to publications which are operated entirely by students. Banning Free Press deliveries won’t have the slightest impact on the possibility of an assault at Dartmouth, which is the entire rationale for door locks in the first place.

Of course, that rationale was absurd to begin with. For reasons I wrote about last spring, locking dorms doesn’t increase safety. At best, it creates the illusion of safety for those who want it, for just as long as their isn’t another incident in the dorms. At that point even the illusion will be gone. In return for this immense benefit, Dartmouth is about to cut off a large portion of the intellectual ferment among students by limiting access to student publications and drastically reduce students knowledge of what goes on in the world (no more New York Times delivery remember). For students, there’s the added perk of having their movements constantly recorded. Dean Redman says this will never be looked at except in a criminal investigation, which I know will comfort the seventeen students who’ve never noticed the administrations habit of playing fast and loose with their promises. Especially with that new requirement to register any gathering of more than 8 students.

This is not a promising trend boys and girls…