Prank or vandalism?
Dan Courtney, Andrew McGloin | Wednesday, September 28, 2011
It is undoubtedly good fun to hide a friend’s iPhone and enjoy the next few minutes watching him frantically overturn his couch cushions and empty his backpack looking for it. It would not be so amusing, however, if you took that same friend’s iPhone and threw it against the wall, smashing it and rendering it useless.
The fun of pranks is that they put the victim in an embarrassing and inconvenient position, but are ultimately harmless. This is not true for the common vandalism of bikes. Students who forget to lock their bikes, or who only lock the wheel, or who leave the bike free because they are just running into the library for two minutes to print a paper, often come out to find their bike in a tree or thrown across the quad. This might be amusing if not for the fact that this often bends the wheel beyond repair or otherwise damages the bike.
This past week, we have observed at least three cases of bike vandalism where not only was the bike moved from its original location (harmless in itself) but the wheels were bent in such a way as to render the bike unusable. One bike in a tree had the tire stripped off of the wheel, and another’s back wheel no longer resembled a circle.
Some of you reading this might think that the owners of these bikes are at fault for not taking the necessary measures to secure them. This may be true. We agree that it is better to be safe than sorry, but at the same time, it is rather unsettling that this happens so often at a school that prides itself on integrity.
So next time you are in a rush to make it to class on time, take the extra few seconds to secure your bike to a rack or pole, not just to the wheel. But if you have some free time after class and want a cheap laugh at the expense of a freshman, handle his bike with care as you hoist it into the nearest tree.