The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Stop Slashing

3 min read

By Miles Dumville

Tuesday morning, I woke up unusually late. Luckily there’s no great reason for me to wake up early on Tuesday mornings because I don’t have class until 6 p.m. After stumbling around the room in a stupor only someone who overslept could carry, I left the room, returned after realizing I forgot my phone and then left for real.
As I approached the door to my dorm, ready to face the early afternoon, I was greeted by a sign taped cockeyed on the door that read as follows:
“Warning! Someone slashed bike tires! If you lock your bike outside, check your tires. If your bike is damaged, make a report to the university police.”
Someone slashed bike tires? Great. So now not only do I have to lock my bike up, but I also have to invent some sort of strong but flexible alloy apparatus to cover the tires with. I pictured my bike, tires hanging limply off the rims, and walked out into the sunlight to face the truth.
What I found was little surprise. I just bought those tires. Why shouldn’t they be slashed? One of them anyway.
Money down the drain, but I suppose I was in good company.  Around 40 bicycle owners left either Alvey or Arrington residence halls Tuesday morning only to find their two-wheeled transportation mercilessly sliced and out of service. At least until they can dish up the $20-$50 necessary to buy a new tire and tube.
Hopefully the rumors are true and the culprit has nothing to do with this campus. Regardless, there’s really only one thing to be said:
Grow up.
Even last year, I remember walking to class early on Friday morning, or walking back from hanging out with friends late on Thursday night and seeing overturned trash cans laying at the bottom of the hill outside of Simpson library, trash strewn here there and everywhere at the mercy of the wind.
I’m still not sure what the person who did that was trying to prove. Maybe they proved to there friends how much of a drunken ass they are. Maybe they proved to the people who had to clean it up that students at UMW don’t respect them or the work they do. If they thought they were a badass for throwing some trashcans, they’re the only ones.  It doesn’t take a lot of guts to throw a trashcan or slash a bicycle tire when no one’s around who cares.
There’s no need for it. It’s purely an inconvenience.
Pranks can be funny for everyone, as long as they don’t cause people extra work or cost them extra money on tight budgets.
Finally, all you slashers of bicycle tires and heavers of trashcans out there, even if you claim that you don’t care what people think of you—which is false; everyone does to some degree—at least care about other people’s situations.
You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble, worry and angry cyclists to answer to in the end.

Miles Dumville is a sophomore.