An armed student is a happy student

When I first heard that a woman fired a shot into the ceiling of University President Nils Hasselmo’s office, my initial thought was, “What a fruit loop.”
But as the summer drew to a close, I started thinking about all the bureaucratic obstacles at the University that we students face in the name of obtaining a higher education. My attitude toward this woman shifted to, “Right on, sister!”
For those of you who haven’t been following along: About six years ago, Jennifer Joan May, then a secretary in the chemistry department, apparently had an affair with her boss, Ron Gentry. He later reconciled with his estranged wife, and May filed a sexual harassment suit against him. He, in turn, filed a restraining order against her — yadda yadda yadda, your typical love story.
But this tawdry tale came to a climax in June when the woman went to Hasselmo’s office, demanded to see the president and fired a gun when she didn’t get her way.
So while the prosecution prepares its case and May claims mental illness as a defense, I’m thinking maybe she’s onto something.
Wouldn’t the University be a lot more “user friendly” (gag) if students packed pistols?
Gone would be the headaches of trying to register for those classes that are never open. Magic number? “I got your magic number right here, pallie,” you’d say as you reach into your jacket for your piece. “It’s .357. As in, Magnum.” Right you are, my friend, enjoy your class.
Trips to the University bookstores would no longer find you bent over cheek-to-cheek with others who are also looking for that 100-pound textbook with a million-dollar price tag.
“Everybody on the floor,” you announce after firing a shot in the air. “Just let me get my copy of ‘House on Mango Street’ and no one will get hurt.” (Who’s the bonehead that designed those inch-wide aisles anyway?)
Ah, the possibilities are endless.
Librarians at the check-out counter, once they get a glimpse of your heat, suddenly don’t care that you have a hold on your record. Counselors in the advising office mysteriously find openings in their calendars and are happy to meet with you at your convenience. Staff members at the financial aid office finally realizes you have better things to do than wait in line for three hours just to find out your check has been misplaced.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Of course, it’s just my little fantasy; I’m not actually advocating guns at the University. (So save the moronic letters extolling the obvious evils of firearms — I agree with you.)
But what’s a student to do? When you get bad service at a store you can simply stop shopping there. I don’t think the threat, “Oh, yeah? Well I’m just going to go register somewhere else!” would carry much weight at the University.
Obviously most of us are here because we either didn’t have the grades to get in anywhere else or we couldn’t afford the tuition at other colleges. We’re trapped.
To give you a glimpse of how the other side lives, listen to my friend’s experience at the College of St. Catherine.
After graduating from our beloved institution, she decided to go to nursing school at St. Kate’s. All the prerequisite classes she needed were filled, but her adviser said, “No problem, I’ll make some calls.” Boom, she’s in. Next, she screwed up and missed the first two days of school. Again, it’s no big deal, the professors let her stay.
Imagine what she would have gone through had that happened at the University — red tape a go go.
But here we are, sans guns or the threat of transferring somewhere else. All you can do — unless you’re lucky enough to claim a history of mental illness — is arm yourself with determination, Prozac and plenty of expletives.
Kris Henry’s column will appear in the Daily every Thursday.