The culture of theft at Oberlin College

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The coming dark age: It appears that the initial shoplifting incident that triggered the Oberlin College lawsuit by Gibson’s Bakery was only part of an overall culture of theft by students at the college, ignored or possibly even condoned by the college administration.

[T]his theft culture influenced the decision making at the college with regard to Gibson’s, as related in the trial. College officials were concerned that backing Gibson’s over shoplifting could “trigger” a negative reaction from students, since the college was “trying to get students to realize that shoplifting was harmful.”

It’s truly astounding that a college would be afraid to support a local store that was the victim of shoplifting. It is deeply depressing that students did not already know that “shoplifting was harmful.”

Remember, the students at Oberlin were paying almost $28,000 in tuition per semester, with additional costs raising this figure to almost $40,000. They might have had to take loans out to pay these costs, but they certainly weren’t poor or starving. In fact, they were required to buy a meal plan by the college.

Thus, this thievery was entirely by choice, and voluntary. It speaks to a complete collapse of morality by the student body, supported by a similar complete moral collapse by the college administration. Worse, Oberlin really is not unique. This same kind of collapse can be seen at most American colleges. If we wish to revive our culture, it seems to me we need to shut these cesspools of immorality down, entirely, and start over.

Above all, parents and children should be thinking very hard about the schools they wish to attend. All past assumptions about which schools are best must be thrown out the window.


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  • Edward

    From the first link: “Chilling details on how broken the student body has become at Oberlin College. How on earth did students get this way?

    One has to wonder whether there is a thieve’s guild on campus that turns students into thieves or whether the college just happens to attract thieves. The latter is possible, as it is a leftist college, and leftists tend not to put much store in the law.

    One student, anonymously quoted in the story, described stealing pasta noodles from Gibson’s twice. ‘It wasn’t expensive and I felt like it … I just preferred not paying for it but I could have.’

    Robert is right, the thievery is entirely by choice. What’s more, the students don’t seem ashamed of it, as they are willing to brag about it to student reporters. So, those who were protesting Gibson’s knew full well that the two shoplifters were guilty. The college did too. Indeed, the college knows about the thieving nature of their students, and they say that they want to do something about it, but when the time came, the college sided with their thieving students, not the victimized shopkeeper. Their actions speak volumes; their words say hardly anything at all. Once again, leftists tend not to put much store in the law.

  • Tom

    Bob, the $28K per semester number caught my eye (among the host of other travesties going down there) and I had to look it up. You were short by 8K. Oberlin’s average cost is 72K a calendar year. Who in their right mind would send their child to a place like that for that kind of money?

  • Kids do stupid things. It’s in the definition. I am disturbed that the school deliberately failed their ‘ in loco parentis’ duties. Universities tend to make a lot of that in order to justify their control over legal adults.

    But here, they caught the vapors because the little darlings might have a ‘negative’ reaction if the institution acted like an adult.

    A ‘negative’ reaction like what? “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t do this.”?


    I attended and graduated from two universities and a tech school between 1989 and 2006, and I don’t think I spent 72k total.

  • Tom: Reread my post. I specifically say that with other required expenses the cost per semester is almost $40,000. I also provided a link to my source.

    Note that almost every modern American college today is permeated with the same kind of thinking as found at Oberlin. And in almost every case, the costs are as high.

    Not only do people have to stop sending their kids to these schools, employers have to stop treating a degree from these places as God’s gift from heaven. Students at these schools are not being well educated, and are thus less qualified for the work force.

  • Blair Ivey: College costs today are routinely in these insanely high numbers, because no one pays directly anymore. The federal government took over under Obama, and essentially socialized the loan system. The result is free money for the schools, causing them to raise costs as high as they can get it, and students who expect the loans to be forgiven eventually by the federal government.

  • The government has been closely involved with medical care and higher education since at least the 1960s. Costs in these two areas have exploded in the past 59 years. Coincidence? I think not. Eliminate student loans and remove the antitrust protections which have allowed colleges to fix prices. Force colleges to compete on price. This will put pressure on them to cut back on the exorbitant tuition and administrative costs.

  • pzatchok

    I just don’t think the students even want to pay back the loans.
    They know they can not be punished in any real way for not paying them back in any timely manner.

    They have no credit and that is the same as bad credit to them.
    They can live their whole life without a loan.

    When was the last time you heard of someone having their wages garnished for not paying a student loan back?

    For those from money they expect their parents to pay it back.

    Its not real money to them.

  • wayne

    “Young Radicals in the Age of Trump”
    Robby Soave
    Rubin Report June 14, 2019

    “The Rubin Report talks to Robby Soave (Associate Editor, Reason Magazine) about his book ‘Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump’, his experience speaking at congress about hate crime, how he became a libertarian, the case of the Covington Catholic students, freedom of speech on college campuses, Title IX activists and fourth wave feminism, his thoughts on liberty, political correctness, identity politics, freedom of speech, and more.”

    On a personal note–I borrowed $8K from Citibank for a BS + MS degree over 6 years (with 51 payments to Sallie Mae promptly starting at graduation.) My biggest expense at the time (late 70’s/early 80’s) was dorm + meal-ticket. academic scholarship + ‘financial-aid’ essentially paid for tuition & books, and work-study (at $2.80/hour) + tutoring off the books, put some coin in my pocket.
    Credit hours were $50 and $75 each. undergrad/grad respectively. Lived very frugally, but did not however, sell my plasma for beer money.

  • wayne

    pzatchok –
    knew a guy– graduated college in 1980 with $10K in student loans. They finally formally garnished his paycheck in 1995. (at first, he was unable to pay, later he just decided to ignore them.)

  • pzatchok

    It took 15 years and if he had played their games and sent them a little here and there they my never have garnished his pay.

    Todays students think it will take that ling and in the mean time they hope and work for a federal government payoff.

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “students who expect the loans to be forgiven eventually by the federal government.

    pzatchok wrote: “ in the mean time they hope and work for a federal government payoff.

    Wonderful. Yet another kind of theft by today’s students. Get free money now by making someone else pay for it.

    It reminds me of a joke I heard on the radio last night:

    Bernie Sanders walks into a bar and shouts, “beer for everyone, and cheers all around!” More quietly he asks, “who’s going to pay for it?”

    The point of the joke is that socialism and communism make big promises but aren’t able to pay for them. It seems that these students are the victims of this kind of thinking, thus theft has become part of their lives. They want some pasta noodles from Gibson’s or want an education from a university, yet whether or not they can afford it they feel entitled enough to take it anyway, either through direct theft or by getting someone else to pay for it.

    Doesn’t Obamacare work this same way? Most Americans have to find someone else who can afford it, such as an employer, or have to go on the government dole to get it through, where everyone else pays for it. Even Congress asked Obama for relief for themselves and their well paid staffs, because despite their large incomes it cost too much for them. If they can’t afford it, what chance do the rest of us have?

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