Barrett is an amazing person. He has done much to make life on Stew 4 better for all of us. In this piece I hope to explain why I feel the administration made the right decision in letting him go as an FYC. I am in support of Barrett remaining on the hall as an important member of our community, but not as an FYC.
Let me start however by commenting on the decision of some other FYCs to resign if the student led appeal fails.
Threats have little place in civilized discourse. By announcing in advance that they will resign if Barrett is not reinstated, the FYCs in question are holding the administration hostage. They are going against the most central tenant of liberal discourse, that it is OK for others to disagree. If this move stemmed from a principle that they feel was infringed and they were doing this to show solidarity and not issue a threat, they should have resigned after the fact and not made preemptive statements. The fact that they made this announcement before a final decision was made makes it quite obviously a threat. I would love to hear their explanation if this is not the case.
I also wonder if there is a lack of consistency in the arguments the FYCs are putting forth. They argue (and I have no reason to disagree) that Barrett being removed will cause tremendous damage to the hall dynamics. Will their decisions to resign not cause similar harm? When the college put forth its arguments for Barretts dismissal a lot of people consistently argued that the interests of the students of the hall should always come first. I urge you to consider your actions in the light of your arguments.
If you are still with me, I want to quickly explain why I think the college’s decision was right.
From a legal standpoint, if the college does not fire Barrett and something goes wrong in Stew 4 because of Barret or even with no involvement on his part, the college will be left vulnerable to lawsuits. It could very well be argued by anyone who sues the college at the point that the college provided insufficient care by having someone who has demonstrated a lack of judgement in a supervisory position. The college does not deserve this because of a personal mistake on the part of one student.
From a personal responsibility standpoint, Barrett should have resigned after the incident and not waited for the college’s ruling. If he sees the level of threat posed by having an absolute stranger living on the hall, he should feel the violation of trust that some of us felt in his decision. If he feels that there was no such threat, I invite him to explain, 1. why based on the little time he knew this man he is so sure and 2. what could we have done (given that we did not know his complete identity) if he had committed a crime and left.
Once again, I think Barrett should be allowed to stay on in the hall as a student. But when it comes to his employment contract, he clearly violated important provisions of this contract. We should have no say in the decision his employer has made especially given the legal ramifications discussed above.