EVAN SCOLLARD ’17
Last week, Trinity suspended a campus safety sergeant over supposed allegations of inappropriate behavior towards a student. Despite separate complainants citing two instances of misconduct, the school has refused to terminate the sergeant until they can investigate the allegation. When reached for comment, Brian Heavren, the Director of Campus Safety, said that school policy prevented him from speaking on current personnel cases. Meanwhile, Josh Garay, an employee of CSC (the school’s event management company) has been called away based on allegations of misconduct away based on allegations of misconduct without any such probe.
Admittedly, a few key differences distinguish the cases. For one, the school directly employes the campus safety officer and only contracts with Josh through a third party (CSC). It is not, therefore, entirely up to Trinity’s administration to Trinity’s administration whether or not he’s kept on. In fact, CSC didn’t actually fire Josh as rumor alleges; they only transferred him to another venue. But we still want him back.
Now a plea may seem misplaced in the College’s newspaper, but consider the charge. When Josh jokingly suggested to a student that they should throw a theme party for his birthday, the student posted that Facebook conversation to a group-message to show how much she liked Josh. But another student, finding the correspondence inappropriate, reported it to the administration. They then called his employer to have him reassigned. Here, I might discuss the absurdity of the accusation or the group-message right to privacy, but I think the student body’s reaction offers a better barometer.
Vernon Street – where Joshed used to make his rounds on the weekends – came swiftly to his defense. Students circulated a petition for his re-employment that has already garnered 243 signatures. Across the campus, everyone expressed incredible dismay that our favorite face on Friday and Saturday nights would no longer be coming by to register our parties or mediate late-night disagreements.
In fact, with the exception of former Greek advisor Timothy Dunn, Josh was the only one who knew how to diffuse the 1:00 AM arguments or just what to say to a student in crisis well after every administrator had gone to bed. So of course students are angry. The school sent away a fixture and trusted confidant based on a misunderstanding.
Of course, one might say that as a contracted employee, Josh isn’t entitled to the same benefits as a normal employee – specifically the right to an investigation. But this isn’t a matter of policy; it is a matter of philosophy. We demand something reasonable as students, and the college has an obligation to listen. If we say we want him back, then the administration needs to contact CSC and say so.
So if we really do care for Josh as much as I know we do, then we have the responsibility to push the administration to do more than shake their heads and say “we’re sorry to see your friend go.” We have the power and the duty to tell them no, we pay tuition and we demand some things – Josh comes back.
I imagine, though, that most of us will read this, agree, and do absolutely nothing at all. It’s much easier to feel quietly discontented than to raise any public outcry. But unless we write to our deans, Josh will remain outside our gates on account of some trumped up changes. And it won’t be the administration’s fault if we don’t tell them how we feel in the first place.
We’re all charged then to send an email to the administration demanding him back. Otherwise, we’ve lost an important friend of the college’s as well as our voice.
EVAN SCOLLARD ’17