First, there was a lack of due-process with a bunch of RIAA letters forwarded to UW students last year. (Because obviously IP’s are never spoofed, proxied, or otherwise manipulated.) I’m sure there were students guilty of filesharing, if file sharing is something to be guilty of. (I’m not convinced. I think it’s more of a gray area.)
Next, we have my university forcing people out of their neighborhood. Said area is not owned by UW, although a large percentage of the people living there are students. Did I mention the people being forced out are sex offenders? Yes, they are. And, it should be noted, were placed there because their crimes involved children, not adults. Also note the line in the article about how UW is interested in purchasing the five properties their landlord owns. It even made the Chronicle of Higher Ed.
Okay, sex offenders are creepy, scary people, I’ll admit. The thought of what those men did makes my skin crawl. But if they were legal tenants, does UW and the governor have a right to force them out? What’s to keep some other group lobbying and forcing out another group of people they deem undesirable?
Either they paid their debt to society, or they didn’t. If they didn’t, they shouldn’t be free. If they did, then they’ve got a reasonable expectation of privacy and freedom from harassment, like the rest of us. I think it says a lot about how a given society, given the way the lowest members of that society are treated.
And, by the way, before someone accuses me of being academic (pardon the pun) about this, I lived across the street from those guys for the better part of a year and a half. By far, the worse neighbors were the fraternities, sororities, and other college students. That article and the actions by UW make me wonder whose legacy, big-donor mommy or daddy called to complain. The sex offenders were known when I lived there. I can’t believe UW just learned about them.