Modern-day Robin Hood is a failure

Jonas DoerrOpinion Columnist

I’m not particularly nostalgic about the Gustavus Adolphus College sign that sits at the entrance to the school. I do have some good memories of sitting on it on Saturday mornings, waving to cars driving up the hill, but I haven’t been there for a while. 

Even so, the recent thefts are to Gusties like to New Yorkers if Lady Liberty lost her torch, to San Franciscans if the Golden Gate Bridge lost its Gate and Gold, or to Texans if people forgot the Alamo.

Letters have gone missing. However, the theft is so ridiculous that someone needs to ridicule it.

First of all, the choice of letters was awful. Why would the anonymous thieves steal E’s? It’s a little bit funny to be going to Gustavus Adolphus Collg, but it would have been much better to be going to Gustavus Adolphus Leg. After all, once you’ve stolen one letter, what’s a couple more?

Maybe the letter E was significant to the thieves. Maybe it can give a clue to the first letter of their names. However, given the failures of their letter choices, they should have taken an L.

And if they were going to steal something, why would they steal a letter? You can get a much nicer letter E off Amazon for $10 with no cost to your conscience, aside from supporting an anti-labor conglomerate.

If money is their issue, then there are plenty of things on campus worth more money. Even on the renowned Gustavus black market or at Thrifty Gold resale, a sign letter isn’t even going to cover half a textbook. So not only do the thieves’ names probably start with E, but they are also probably wealthy kleptomaniacs who steal only for the inherent pleasure and dorm decor.

After all, they clearly aren’t good thieves. If they were going to take something so obvious that everyone was immediately going to notice its disappearance, why not take the whole sign?

Any halfway decent thief could have managed that. All it would have taken was a couple of shovels and an oversized wheelbarrow. But even a toddler could have ripped two letters off of the very lowest part of the sign. The Collg could easily buy a few more letters to replace the sign.

Speaking of which, why has the Collg not done more to rectify this wrongdoing? Letters for the sign cannot be too expensive. If the administration had a bucket of spare letters, they could slap one on as soon as they disappeared, and no one would know what happened.

Perhaps that is too simple. It wouldn’t be just to let the perps off the hook. One easy way to prevent future thefts would be the addition of a new student employment position: Sign Sentry. The employee could parade back and forth in front of the sign, decked up in a fancy outfit and ensuring no one pillaged our beautiful sign (all for the low low price of $10.33/hour).

They would get some Vitamin D and become as iconic as the Queen’s Guard. Prospective students visiting campus would immediately meet a friendly face when they drive in. Safety and order would be restored.

But maybe that is too conspicuous for the Collg. If they are looking for a more subtle way to survey the sign, the administration can recruit the free labor around campus: squirrels. Install a few cameras onto the squirrels and no one will get away with sign-looting again.

Even if nothing else good comes of the rampant crime, the Campus Activities Board should take notes. Gusties clearly love theft. CAB can take advantage of this by putting on theft-focused events so Gusties can let out their criminal impulses on something harmless.

Most people have, at some point, played the game Cops and Robbers. A few people are the cops and chase the robbers around in a low-stakes competition. But with the budget of CAB, Campus Safety and Sign-Stealers could be huge.

Whoever shows up to the event will be divided into teams. Some participants will get to realize a lifelong dream and play as Campus Safety, trying to hunt down miscreants.

Meanwhile, CAB will have hidden valuable items around the Collg, like gift cards and FastPasses to the front of the 10:30 a.m. breakfast line. The rest of the participants will lurk around campus, trying to avoid the Campus Safety students while snagging whatever loot they can. After a while, the teams switch so that everyone can get their fill of thieving.

Perhaps the original thieves were trying to be modern-day Robin Hoods, but their thefts so far have benefitted no poor people. The only way to bring them back into line is either increased public scorn or more healthy outlets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *