Staff Editorial: using caution doesn’t mean sacrificing community

Theft is a real temptation, and students should be wise while carrying their belongings around campus.

Chimes Staff, Writer

Take a look at Downtown Biola, outside the Bookstore, around Common Grounds or in Eagles Nest and you will see dozens of laptops, iPads and other expensive electronic items. Here at Biola University, we enjoy the comfort of a Christian community in a well-to-do, fairly secluded neighborhood. People smile a lot. It’s hard to imagine a mal-intentioned soul in our midst. It’s easy to take this kind of community for granted. But often, Biola students act more trusting than they ought. Where does a sense of community end and simple naivety begin?

It’s easy to assume that because we attend a Christian university we can trust everyone. But a recent report from Campus Safety proves otherwise. Emailed to students last week, the Campus Safety Crime Alert cited stolen laptops as a current crime trend.

Leaving book bags to save tables in the Caf or reserving library study rooms with laptops are all unofficial, unspoken parts of Biola’s culture. Leaving our valuables unattended around campus is something Biolans do because we saw it modeled by the upperclassmen our first week here. Not to blame anyone, but as long as we keep naively trusting each other all the time, items will continue to be stolen. Yet, if out of fear, we stop trusting each other completely, we will damage our community.

We shouldn’t become paranoid, however keeping a closer eye on our belongings doesn’t mean completely losing our sense of community either.

Here are two points to consider; First, students are not alone on this campus. Biola issues library entrance passes to visitors, people rent out our fields and prospective students frequent the campus. While you might feel a familial bond with everyone in your morning math class that you bump into in the Caf, this is not your home kitchen.

Second, no one is perfect. Even our brothers and sisters stumble. Theft is a very real temptation for some, even here. A wise response to this current trend would be to help those struggling with the temptation to steal by being vigilant and not carelessly leaving our belongings strewn around.

Because Biolans are overly trusting, it hurts even more when theft occurs. Sadly, these electronics are often the lifeblood of students. And when they are stolen, we’re not only disadvantaged quite a bit in our classes, we lose the trust that much of Biola’s culture is built on. In the wake of this current crime trend, be wise with your stuff, know your surroundings and continue to value the community you’re in.

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