I spent the 2010-2011 school year as an untouchable, a member of the lowest social class here at Gustavus. I was a Collegiate Fellow. I can’t complain too much about this dark time in my social life. I did, after all, apply for the position, after being lured in by the promise of my own free room.
I did not know, however, that Collegiate Fellows are widely hated both by those they have reprimanded and those they have not. According to Gustavus legend, Collegiate Fellows “chase,” “bust,” “hunt” and “catch.” To this day, people I “busted” at the beginning of last year run away from me when they see me on campus. Here is a little secret for all of y’all runners: we hate confronting people almost as much as you hate being confronted. It’s uncomfortable. We get yelled at, threatened, negotiated with, complained to and then, at the end of all that, we get to write a full report on it.
Apparently, “don’t kill the messenger” is a cliché that never caught on at Gustavus. Collegiate Fellows only confront people when it’s necessary. The drinking age in Minnesota is twenty-one because of the Federal Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, which threatened states to create the minimum drinking age twenty-one or lose ten percent of their federal highway funding. The only reason it’s illegal to drink before you’re twenty-one in Minnesota is because President Ronald Reagan wanted to get re-elected by overprotective parents.
The real confrontation is between the United States government and the students at Gustavus who choose to drink underage or irresponsibly (the definition of irresponsibility itself is also in contention between the US and the everyday college student, but that’s an article for another day). The fact that yellow cards are no longer in the equation demonstrates that Collegiate Fellows are not the enemy, nor the source of all your problems. So if you don’t like it, take it up with the U.S. government.