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.


~ by Jen on October 9, 2007.

5 Responses to “”

  1. I’m all for filesharing :-)There was an interesting film about how hard it is to be a sex offender trying to fit back into society after prison – The Woodsman.

  2. You know, I think I may have seen that film…if they’d done something wrong, I could see UW pushing to get them removed. But this case? Not seeing it.

  3. Someone once showed me a website that could show all the sex offenders living in your neighborhood. It was creepy, but on the other hand, you wonder how an ex-con is ever going to be able to start over again in life. Sometimes it’s a tough call.

  4. Sex offenders really creep me out, I’ll be honest, but big corporate entities telling people who can and can’t live in a neighborhood creeps me out more. What’s to keep Seattle Pacific University from saying to gay and lesbian people in the area around their school that they can’t live there? (Aside from LGBT people in Capitol Hill have way more political clout.)

  5. I know what you mean. We once formed a neighborhood committee to fight an insurance company that wanted to buy all the houses on a street, demolish them, and basically erase the street and have it re-zoned comercial so that they could expand their corporate campus. We got somewhere. They did buy the houses, and they did demolish them, but the street is still there. Now there are new houses there. Sometimes you can “fight City Hall”, although looking at the way the Town Meetings were run like a kangaroo court, I was wondering at times if I was in North Korea. 🙂

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