Scroll: The bane of my existence

08May07

Last Saturday I read a ridiculous op-ed piece in Scroll the unofficial, official, student voice of BYU-Idaho. The staff was writer was pleading with the readers to give an alleged thief a break. But you will find it interesting that the man was not stealing textbooks, computers, or even from the local Wal-Mart. No. This guy, a forty year old man from a neighboring town, was stealing womens’ panties from the laundry room at at least one approved housing complexes in Rexburg.

To see how ridiculous this is, you can read the article in all its’ glory here.

I thought this incident to be more serious then he did, and penned a response Saturday afternoon. Today, Monday, I put the final touches on it, eliminating everything that was inflamatory or overly condescending. It is in the opinion editors in-box now. I wonder what they will say?

Here is what I wrote:

Dear XXXX XXXX

Your recent article in Scroll about the alleged “Panty Thief” is frightening and represents how ignorant in society some are about sexual predators and generally how people at BYU-Idaho were naïve enough to have an “it will not happen here” type of attitude.

While I was attending BYU-I from 2000-2002 a girl was shot when a burglar broke into her apartment. Thankfully the Idaho Falls police department caught the man and he is now behind bars.

On another occasion, several BYU-I students were implicated in a burglary ring that had been preying upon students who were naïve enough to leave their doors unlocked thinking that Rexburg is a “theft free zone”. In most cases perpetrators walked in and took whatever they wanted. After they were caught, the thieves were implicated in stealing thousands of dollars worth of private property and in many thefts that had taken place over the past few months. The story was covered in Scroll.

Perhaps you have heard the urban legend about a student run brothel in an approved housing complex in Rexburg. While that story, specifically, may not be true, I spoke with a gentleman who used to work in law enforcement in the area and was involved in several operations to deal with prostitution among Ricks College students (Some were actually putting up red lights to let people know they were open for business).

Prior to my mission I took a class from a counselor who works on campus. Our teacher indicated that every year there are a number of girls who report that they have been either victims of date rape, or were coerced into sexual intercourse.

I hope that these, and the files of the campus police department, will help you and others realize that while it may seem that you are isolated from the rest of society and it’s ills, that even a place as small as Rexburg, and a school that tries to stay squeaky clean like BYU-I can have problems that are in fact found on other campuses albeit to a much lesser degree.

You should count it as a blessing that this guy was caught. What’s next, girls begin reporting that there is a peeping Tom lurking about? Or worse, will Scroll be writing about some unfortunate girl who was raped because those who knew about the man stealing panties did not think it was important enough to report it?

Don’t get me wrong; I like girls as much as the next guy. But because of my background in psychology, this kind of behavior screams of someone who has a problem, and might be on his way to becoming a sexual predator, the kind that either molests kids, or rapes women. You should be thankful that the Rigby and Rexburg communities will not have to read about this guy and how he sexually assaulted, or abused someone, and how people had seen warning signs but simply thought that he was an odd duck.

Yes, BYU-Idaho is a great school, one of the Lord’s schools. But we have to remember that as great as place, as it is, not everyone who attends BYU-I, and not everyone in the surrounding communities are as peachy keen as we sometimes would like to think.

Take Care,

Chris Rusch (Alumni 2000-2002)

So those were my thoughts on the matter. Who knows, they might open a file in Salt Lake City about me 🙂

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4 Responses to “Scroll: The bane of my existence”

  1. 1 Mo

    I’d publish it in my paper. I thought the original article was completely ludicrous! Just reading the boxes of inset text gives away the fact that his article is going to be utterly and completely ridiculous. Anyway. Good response. They should publish it.

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