Lawsuit-free since 9/14/05

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Anatomy of an Administration Warning

Exactly one week ago, we received a letter from a student (using her real name) alleging that there is "bad and cut cocaine" on campus. "Hell's bells," we thought. "This woman simply needs to get a better dealer. If she doesn't trust her dealer, she may as well be snorting Nutrasweet." But that's not all. Our correspondent informed us that this "bad and cut cocaine" is "cut with heroin, speed, and adderall" and that "cocaine dealers... kill students with bad drugs." Needless to say, we had the good sense to ignore her letters-- all nine of them.

Why? Heroin is almost never cut with substances designed to kill the user. The same goes for cocaine. It would be especially stupid to combine the two, as cocaine is an upper and heroin is a downer and the resulting mixture would leave the user tired and strung-out, but certainly not feeling anything good.

Further, it would be almost impossible to keep a consistent color and granule size while mixing cocaine and heroin. The result would look like a powdered and clumpy batch of sugar with dashes of cornmeal added. Indeed, why would "cocaine dealers" (we prefer to think of them as "free-market capitalists") want to "kill students with bad drugs"?

However, we don't flatter ourselves as being the only outlet to which this crusading student appealed. Some persons are easily excited by sensational urban legends-- Dean M.L. "Cissy" Petty, for instance.

The good dean replied to the student with a promise of an investigation-- "i hope you will have the courage of your convictions to tell them [Rance Davis and Security Chief Patrick Gagnon] what you specifically know regarding drug use on campus. we will begin to investigate the claims that you are making, [student's name redacted by TBOC!]." In a later e-mail, the always stalwart dean wrote, "we'll start doing informational programming about cocaine right now...and too, start an investigation." We ask that our readers note Petty's weird use of ellipses.

Gagnon, perhaps confusing actual knowledge with silly myths of spiked cocaine, told the concerned student that he (in her words, stated in a letter to Dean Petty), "has known for a week about the rumors of large amounts of dangerous cocaine that has been mixed with other drugs." In a November 11 e-mail, Dean Petty undermined her colleague somewhat, writing, "i do not know why he [Gagnon] said he has known about large amounts of dangerous cocaine on campus...we have not talked about it." Again, please note the incorrect use of ellipses.

This hunt for dangerous and imaginary cocaine culminated with the above mentioned "informational programming" as well as a campus-wide e-mail from Patricia Ellis, Student Health Service Director. If one wonders why sexual assault is treated like a joke at SLU, one might conjecture that the reason is the administration chooses to spend its time hunting for "bad and cut cocaine" "cut with heroin, speed, and adderall" and "cocaine dealers... kill[ing] students with bad drugs." All this effort expended on behalf of one young woman's fantasies.

Let this be a lesson to all students at SLU-- if you want to see the most idiotic and dreamed-up charges become "informational programming," simply send an e-mail to Dean M.L. "Cissy" Petty. Complain about absolutely any stupid thing you want-- the sudden influx of vampires on campus, that the tooth fairy has been absent of late, that 2000 years ago a nice Jewish carpenter had to die to absolve you of your sins, even that the misuse of ellipses causes you rashes and sores and other scrofulous gestures-- and you're sure to find some "informational programming" delivered to your door, courtesy of Cissy and the gang.


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