[Milton-L] Postscript

gilliaca at jmu.edu gilliaca at jmu.edu
Thu Apr 19 14:12:45 EDT 2007


>Cynthia -- No.  I don't think he would have kept hanging 
around the
>Univ. if he dropped out.  

We've had some stalkers who did exactly that - dropped or 
flunked out but hung around. They can be served with trespass 
notices, and if they are rational, they will heed them. Don't 
know if that would have made a difference.

>
>Proposed solutions in general need to be evaluated in terms 
of the
>good they can do vs. the cost of implementation. ...  Very
>hard to judge.

Yes - and you're right to remind us of cost. Liek Tech, JMU 
is funded by the commonwealth. Unlike Tech, because of our 
history for a long time of being a teacher's college for 
women, we have very little in endowment money to make up for 
the parsimony of the General ASS.

>Unless you think doing nothing is the best way after all?

Oh no - I think we should take all legal and sensible steps 
to diminish threats to our students and ourselves.  But I 
think too that trying to anticipate the actions of someone as 
mentally ill as that guy is very difficult. Prevention is 
hard. Limiting the damage someone can do is more feasible, 
but by no means something that can be made fail-safe.

I spent a lovely - well, actually, hotter than Hell - summer 
on an NEH seminar at the U of Minn - on the main campus many 
buildings and the library connected by underground tunnels - 
very practical for that winter climate, and actually nice 
that very hot summer. But, to the wrong person, they could 
present some horrifying possibilities. Should they close 
them?  To get from one side of campus to the other, you get 
to cross the Mississippi ona pedestrain bridge - another 
dangerous places?

I very much think universities should exert what the lawyers 
call due diligence in regard to students [or faculty, or 
staff] having dangerous mental health issues.  I think they 
should take reasonable precautions and have contingency plans 
in place to deal with 'the unthinkable.' But I do not think 
either effort can ever be perfect.

C
Cynthia A. Gilliatt
English Department, JMU
JMU Safe Zones participant
"You have made God in your own image when God hates the same people you hate." Fr. John Weston


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