IWU students must consider real-world consequences

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Argus Staff, Editorial

 

On Friday, April 10, an 18-year-old Illinois Wesleyan University student was arrested after allegedly selling $675 worth of cocaine to a police source. If convicted, he will face six to 30 years in prison without probation, according to Bloomington-Normal’s Pantagraph.

Six to 30 years. In our “Wesleyan bubble,” students are often sheltered from the harsh realities of the law because what would result in expensive fines and potential jail time is often given a lighter sentence on campus.

“At the heart of the University’s response to alcohol and substance use is concern for the health and safety of students,” said Associate Dean of Students Darcy Greder. “Where the police and justice system is rooted in crime deterrence and punishment, the University has a different purpose – we look to educate, to challenge behavior and to connect students with support when confronting minor violations.”

Severe violations are dealt with more seriously at IWU, although they do not include a possible 30-year sentence but rather suspension or expulsion from the university.

“To date, every student who has been charged with the manufacture or distribution of drugs has been separated from Illinois Wesleyan,” Greder said.

While it is helpful to students that IWU’s punishments are not as harsh as the criminal justice system, students can easily become too comfortable with the idea that they are “safe” from the realities of the real world, since to some those laws do not appear to apply on campus.

That doesn’t mean that students should think that it is “safe” to sell prescription and illicit drugs, or that a student should feel “safe” buying or using them on campus, regardless of the lesser penalties at IWU.

“Illegal drug use impacts your health and wellbeing by damaging your brain, other vital organs, and certainly impacting your motivation and future success,” said Dean of Students Karla Carney-Hall in a campus-wide email concerning the arrest sent on Tuesday, April 14.

“Addiction often creates life-long challenges regarding health, family and employment, just to name a few. Additionally, drug use may bring a criminal element to campus that threatens our entire community,” Carney-Hall said.

Students should be more careful about the decisions they make on campus, and not become too cavalier about activities that are against the law—as some may soon find out.

According to the Pantagraph, police collected 16 pages of text messages sent between the accused and his customers, meaning that anyone who was involved with the accused or contacted him via text message may already be on police record. He also reportedly sent pictures of his ‘stash’ from his phone.

In an age where nothing seems private and phone records can become incriminating evidence, students must be especially cautious with the way that they conduct themselves and what information they make public. Otherwise, they might have to face the harsh, real-world consequences for their actions.