Students, university cannot afford instant police, trooper increase plan

Our campus has a serious party problem—at least that’s the impression I’m under if it’s something that requires a potential $1.4 million remedy.

OSU administrators and City of Corvallis officials recently unveiled a plan to increase “boots on the ground” for police officers and troopers available to respond to domestic incidents in town.

In English, they’re bringing in some more “party busters.”

The plan will give us three city officers, funded by Corvallis only for the first year, and two state troopers, fully funded from OSU. Overall, this will cost OSU around $1.4 million over the course of four years.

So there we have it. In an effort to decrease the amount of complaints related to incidents and (supposedly) help combat increased incidents of sexual assault, we’ll now have five more officers subsidized through a majority of university funds.

So we want to increase our community’s livability so that each and every OSU student has that much more of an enjoyable experience.

I know it is the responsibility of students to be held accountable for their actions. We have very few officers available for domestic disturbances, so it’s natural that this burden should only fall onto the student body as a whole.

Though last time I checked, OSU has not, and does not, pride itself as some kind of out of control “party school.” Yet I’d almost guarantee that, somehow, all students who “party” or don’t will wind up paying for this over the next four years.

How can we know that the university will just “find a way” to pay for it following another tuition spike?

This feels like another continuing, seldom addressed problem: state-based public funds continue to decrease in one sector, which may then require college students to somehow pick up a sizable chunk of the missing income.

And let’s not forget that Oregon has been known to pay an alarming amount over corrections as opposed to education costs. The number was $10,000 per every student versus $30,000 a year to house each inmate in 2013, according to fact checks from PolitiFact Oregon.

Though we’re not talking prison convictions here, it’s like we’re expecting more authorities will help remedy something that, quite frankly, could stem from other problems.

Why not increase student activities or counseling resources to discourage from less desirable activities? Though I love Corvallis, we’re no Portland in terms of student night life options.

We don’t even have a freaking night time pool hall.

Right now, it seems like we’re rushing into too much too fast.

With student costs that continue to rise and state funds that continue to decline, there’s no way we can afford this.

Even half of the cost for one Oregon State Police officer subsidized through the university, just to test the waters, might have made more sense.

As it stands, I’m skeptical of the university’s “we’ll find a way” approach to this.

The opinions expressed in Bassinger’s column do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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