- Published on Saturday, 23 June 2012 11:06
- Written by MARTIN BECKER
Growing up, one learns an almost instinctive aversion for authority. That annoying urge to just stick your fingers in the wall plug regardless of what Mommy said stays with us in some shape or form 'til the day we die.
Sometimes this is for the better. How else would accepted norms such as racism and male dominance have been questioned a few decades back? How else would pioneers such as Galileo and Copernicus have discovered the true nature of the universe? Perhaps I am going a bit overboard with this train of thought, but there is a point to be made. Sometimes; no, in fact, most of the time, authorities give out advice and put structures in place so that the entire machine of society can chug along without too many cogs falling out along the way.
One such example is security on campus. Living as we do, in houses that weren't built with security in mind, the members of the LLL project are especially vulnerable to outside vagrants trying to snatch a purse here and purloin a laptop there. Organizations such as the USBD and Campus Security exists for the sole purpose of making us feel safe and to avoid incidents like the ones listed above; and yet, for all the nagging and wheedling of authority figures (*cough* Mathew *cough*) we find it "too much trouble" to report suspicious activity to the relevant authorities.
Maybe it's just our instincts telling us not to get involved; the self-preservation ones that make you walk faster when you see a shadow at night, telling you that getting involved with the police in any form will leave a permanent blotch on your record. Popular culture, the media and (for some of us) past experiences leave us with a largely negative perception of the law, and yet today, those instincts were once again proven wrong.
After going through the normal morning routine of shave-shower-brush-breathe-GOGOGOGOGOGOGO, I found a housemate opening my room's door, asking me if there was someone at the door just this minute. Replying in the negative, my interest was piqued by the way he looked slightly excited about the idea. Either he was VERY starved for social interaction, or there was something suspicious about the person he claimed he saw running from our porch. Okay, after re-reading that last sentence, it's probably the latter. However, the front door was still locked, so I thought less of it than I probably should. Not a minute later, another housemate opens the door and tells me that, when trying to leave for the office via the back yard, found a somewhat unexpected young man attempting a high jump over our backyard fence. Noting that he had already informed the USBD, we waited a minute or two for the security van to arrive, and, sure enough, they pitched, asked a question or two and were off.
Not two minutes later, they arrive back at the house, numbering one more than they left. Holding a normally-dressed lad by the collar, the officer asks "Was it him?" Nodding the affirmative, my housemate looks at the situation as the guards escort the guy back to their car and, eventually, their cells, for what they called "a bit of fatherly education". Excitement now done for the day, we all went our seperate ways.
Except that it occurred to me that this is exactly the kind of situation where we should have contacted Campus Security, and, having done so, the miscreant was apprehended within minutes, leaving Stellenbosch just a bit safer and more secure, and giving us that extra peace of mind we so sorely... Nah, but it was still a good feeling.
In short, I'd like to encourage all of you to follow the rules. Not the most radical blog-post of all time, but in cases such as these, I realize that there is a benefit to following the structures set in place to help us here at the university. So whenever you feel unsafe, unsecure or if random men are practicing their high-jump over your fences, please contact your friendly neighbourhood campus security. They do actually make a difference.