“It’s too easy – it’s like they want you to”—the normalization of theft at George Washington University

Wokeness is bad enough. Now, we have another sign of moral rot at American universities: rampant notions of entitlement and petty theft among students at elite schools.

Witness the April 18, 2022 article in the GW Hatchet, the student newspaper at George Washington University, Students defend coffee-theft trend at University Student Center Panera Bread.

The title says it all. It is now perfectly okay to steal--provided you are a student at George Washington University. The rationalization of the privileged little thieves at this highly-ranked private school is that corporations are bad and that the eatery they are stealing from is not trying hard enough to prevent them from stealing from it. Oh well, that’s all right then.

The irony is that Panera Bread went through its own social justice phase only to abandon that stance when it turned out that such harebrained schemes tend to flop in the real world.

I thought I had lost the ability to be shocked by the level of contempt of campus radicals have for rudimentary uprightness. But at least some of their wokeness and leftism contains at least a modicum of sincere concern about their fellow man and distress about economic injustice.

By contrast, the thieves (and yes, self-righteous punks, you are thieves not crusaders for economic equity) at George Washington University don’t have much of a platform. They are merely lazy and dishonest.

Kudos to GW Hatchet for exposing the moral turpitude of some of their fellow students. We learn, for instance, that the coffee-stealing crooks:

don’t find ethical issues with snagging “free” items from the large corporation. They said stealing from the business has become a simple task because the storefront keeps the majority of its drinks at a self-serving counter accessible to anyone walking through.

Great—this scummy cohort seems to want to force every merchant in the land to wall off their wares as much as possible. Oh, that is going to be so helpful to the rest of us and such a boon to the disabled.

Note how the thieving students (many of whom are probably from affluent, progressive households) take advantage of those who have to work in the world:

staff lack formal training on how to deal with the sneaky trend, so they often don’t confront students when they notice them stealing

What is most shocking in the article is the corroded character of these young people. They aren’t willing to abide by the most basic rules that many of us imbibed in kindergarten (e.g., don’t steal) and they blame others for placing temptation in their path:

“It’s too easy – it’s like they want you to,” one freshman majoring in international business said.

Kind of doubt that, self-justifying dope. And this person is studying business.

And it is not just coffee and cups that these students are stealing:

In addition to coffee, students said they’ve been stealing Panera’s wide array of drink choices including soft drinks, juices and teas from the dispensers on the counter. Some students said they walk into the student center, walk through the front of the line and go straight to the juice bar to snatch their drink without hesitation as if it’s almost second nature.

What next—dipping their hands into the cash registers or demanding that the baristas hand over their wallets, phones, watches and earrings?

One of the thieves (oh sorry, students) quoted seems to have some inkling that her behavior is wrong, but does not indicate that she is going to stop stealing. To her credit, she does use the word “stealing”:

“My stealing has gotten worse,” she said. “Like I used to be really scared about it. But now I just kind of do it whenever and I don’t really care or have any moral obligation.”

One almost feels sorry for this obviously troubled person who lacks moral fiber.

The thieves seem to regard their petty crimes as acceptable provided that the victim is a corporation and one that makes things convenient for customers:

A sophomore majoring in political science and economics said she would never steal from anywhere else, only targeting Panera because of how easily and often she can pull it off.

“I will not steal from a small business, ever,” she said. “I think that’s wrong…”

The twisted thinking of these thieves is illustrated by the fact that one of them justifies stealing pastries because otherwise they might go to waste. Hmm, I will have to remember that handy-dandy rationale the next time I am in a coffee shop. So much more agreeable to view oneself as a benefit to society than as a thief.

And remember these pilferers are students at one of the notable institutions of higher education in Washington, DC and in the nation as a whole. When will there be, you know, arrests?

One of the thieves (ironically, a marketing major—wonder what evil corporation she will work for someday) allows herself to be quoted by name saying:

“If you don’t do it at some point, do you really go to GW?”

Wow—what promise she shows in marketing. It is definitely a good idea to steal and to boast in the pages of your college newspaper about doing so. Such a great image to present to the world of yourself and your university. Could anyone be more clueless than this girl? She suggests that it is almost a rite of passage for George Washington University students to steal. Not a great look for her or for the poor school that hosts such dunderheads.

Nice bit of revelatory reporting there, GW Hatchet.

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