The Beat with Matt Beaune

The culture of crime at Muhlenberg

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I am truly honored to be the newest investigative reporter joining the incredible staff at the Muhlenberg Weekly. In this job, I intend to dive deep into the things that matter most to the students, faculty, and staff at Muhlenberg. When I first pitched my idea for this column to my higher ups at the Weekly, I wanted to get to the bottom of the things that matter to the students. Like who chooses the Ben and Jerry’s avors at GQ, why does Plant Ops cut a million little holes into the grass every two weeks and if the pool in the Life Sports Center is a myth, but recent developments have changed my priorities.

One of the most valuable aspects of Muhlenberg, in my opinion, is how safe I feel when I’m here. When I moved in freshman year because I had never lived so far away from my home and my family and friends. Luckily, I was relieved to find the support systems for students on campus. I was reassured that everything would be fine and I’m just as safe here as I am back at home. From Campus Safety and the Title IX O ce to HRL and the resident advisors, I always felt protected from any serious danger.

However, something is palpably different this year. I, and as I assume many other students, have seen not only an increase in random, individual acts of crime but emerging patterns of somewhat organized crime that, if not stopped, WILL lead to an end of the campus that we know and love. Which is why I decided to start a column in the Muhlenberg Weekly, I believe it is of utmost importance that we as students stay informed about what is actually going on in the shadows of Academic Row and that we give credit where credit is due to those brave souls who are actually fighting the good fight to stop the criminals before they seriously hurt someone.

I’ll show you what I mean. Last Tuesday, I was grabbing a quick lunch in the dining hall, so I put my wallet on a table near the replace to mark my territory. When I returned to my table with a slice of chocolate cake and fries (I was having a rough morning), I found that my wallet had been rifled through and my Menchie’s rewards card was missing, and no amount of chocolate-vanilla swirl could cool the fires burning inside me.

And it doesn’t stop at petty theft. It’s getting tough to ignore the graffiti that has been popping up around campus. Last week it was “Boo-lenberg Sux” across The Courts. Monday it was a drawing of the college president with a handlebar mustache on the side of the belltower. And just this morning, this vagrant struck again, turning Victor’s Lament upside down (how it maintained balance might be the subject of my next investigative report).

And obviously, none of this is to say that I don’t think Campus Safety is doing a good job. To the contrary, I think they are doing an amazing job, but they simply couldn’t be trained to deal with the kinds of plagues that are infecting our campus today. For example, do you think they’re trained to take down the professor in the Philosophy Department who reached enlightenment and was floating down the halls of Moyer hypnotizing any student who dared pass him? Can you really expect them to know what to do when a giant robotic lizard erupts from the soccer fields and begins to eat the residents of Walz, as it did over the weekend?

These kinds of things are far beyond what we should expect from Campus Safety or Allentown PD. But one thing is for sure, we need someone who is brave enough to take on these criminals. Maybe it will be a brave officer, or maybe, just maybe, the hero we need walks among us now. It is often said that the most apt heroes hide in plain sight, right under your nose or in the byline of an article waiting for their moment. Maybe the hero we need is just a regular old student writing an investigative reporting column for the Muhlenberg Weekly. A strong student, who is funny, handsome and, most importantly, incredibly humble. I will not rest until our campus is back to what we all know and love. So stay tuned, loyal readers, I have a feeling there will be some major developments in the next week.

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