What if the situation with the police does not change? The website says Lexington is 2.75 square miles. How many patrol officers does Lexington have? 20 to 24? The small patrol area, the attitude of the police force and the number of officers probably cause the heavy-handed policing.
You can’t cocoon yourself on campus. Anyway, the Greek houses are on campus but that does not seem to stop the police this year.
Lexington is a safe town. Crime statistics show that on the police web site. Bothering students can fill time. It raises city income through fines. The schools have no control over the police. As someone said on this thread, legally they cannot argue against enforcement. The only issue they can use is how much financial impact they have on the community. Maybe they will use that.
I talked to my UVA graduate and they said the police in Charlottesville seem to balance police presence and enforcement. The students there do not mistrust police like W&L students do. Activities that get you stopped, ticketed or arrested in Lexington like carrying an open container, walking to a dormitory late at night, being at a party in town and dropping a drink when you see the police and such don’t cause the police to act unless there is something going wrong.
My W&L graduate was stopped many times walking around town late at night after they were 21. It was after a party sometimes and sometimes they were just walking home from a friend’s house. They were not arrested or ticketed but why were they stopped when they were not doing anything wrong? Why do the police feel they need to do this? It sounds like something that happens in North Korea.
Why does it look like you work for the admissions department? Here are a couple of samples which look like professional talking points. You should write material for them if you do not already.
"As a freshman I've only been here for short time, but I have already had many enriching experiences and created valuable relationships." This could be in a brochure or video.
"If you are a high school student with the type of talent and academic achievement to make a school as selective as W&L a possibility for you, then please come visit us here in Lexington. Don't trust CC, it almost turned me away from the school. My visit changed everything for me. You cannot understand things like the Honor System, the Speaking Tradition, or other quintessential parts of the Washington and Lee experience third hand. In fact some of them seem scary until you speak to people who live them out everyday, and ask them how they feel about it. Come speak to real students, stay with a real student, meet real faculty." This could be in a brochure or video. I agree campus visits are helpful.
Even as a UVA grad I admit W&L is a very good school but something has to make the total experience better. People have complained about the Lexington police for years. Now would be a good time to fix what is going wrong. The students should not fear them.
I have looked at CC comments for years without saying anything. I agree with you some are not helpful and can be baseless or simple gossip. Some are useful. They help give a view past the packaged glossy images all colleges want to project and help you know what you will be paying for and if that is what you want.
As someone said on this thread, legally they cannot argue against enforcement.
Actually they can ... if the police are using selective enforcement against W&L students the police can be at fault even if they are upholding laws ... it is not OK to pick a subset of the population to strictly enforce laws ... so if the police are following the same tactics across town then the students/school have no argument .. however, if the school is targeting students more than other residents a case can be made.
PS - I live with a mile of both BU and BC and the non-student residents are typically overwhelmingly for a very heavy handed police presence with the students ... partying students have in the past caused HUGE issues in the neighborhoods ... however I've never heard of the police presence here extending onto campus unless something big happens.
"Anyway, the Greek houses are on campus but that does not seem to stop the police this year."
The greek houses are all technically on campus in that they are owned by the school but only the sorority houses and sort of chi psi's house are physically in the W&L campus. Some of them are very very close, the ones across from red square, but others are in Davidson Park which I would approximate is a mile down the road.
Just something to keep in mind in the debate.
Like I said, I'm completely on board with the fact that the Lexington Police's actions are completely unacceptable. Someone in the school paper recently mentioned a class action law suit as being the only solution. Might be something to look into.
Someone would have to find out whether they do the same thing to the local underage residents or VMI students. If they did not treat them the same way before they will now. I am sure someone in the PD is reading this.
I understand how residents in the Brookline area and that around Boston University might feel. Those are much more densely populated areas than Lexington. Young people can be obnoxious especially if they have been drinking too much. The student populations are much bigger too so there are more of them to bother the residents.
While the Greek houses are not directly on the main campus if they are owned by the school they are part of the campus even if they are separate. Police should not be entering those buildings. That is why the University has its own police force. If the LexPo are doing that they have to have a very good reason. How would they adjust if the chief said to stay back? They could wait on the sidewalk or on the streets around them. Those are public areas. It is almost the same as being on the property. What they do to the students when they move from one part of campus to another is the center of the problem along with coming back from off campus parties.
The lawsuit is an interesting idea. It will be expensive unless there is a student who has gotten in trouble with a litigation attorney as a parent.
I would arrange a boycott of the Lexington merchants and buy whatever you need or eat out in county locations. They cannot be far away since the town is so small. The local merchants might complain to the city council and police.
It seems that things are out of control. The fact that so many young people will have a police record is not good.
Over the past year W&L has had some misfortune or something is drastically wrong. For example, a W&L undergraduate gets three years in prison for drugs, a football player is charged with distributing on campus, a post party car accident seriously injures two students, and now a rash of arrests this September.
I suggest that people focus on getting the school cleaned up. The administration is clearly out to lunch.
The more I read the more shocked I become. This is not at all the place I was told it was. Sounds like a depressing police state. Has it just gone this direction recently? Sounds like a nightmare place to go to school. Police arresting anyone on the street.
As I previously mentioned, this thread has been misleading from the beginning. However, it did contain a grain of truth, that many upperclassmen I met felt that policing during the beginning of the year was much more strict than in previous years. As a freshman I cannot comment on that, however I can say that I haven't seen the police around in the past few months nearly as much as they were at the beginning of the year. Furthermore, no one has been even discussing them recently. Some of my friends who were arrested have told me that their record will be wiped clean as long as they do not get in any further trouble after a probationary period. So to conclude this entire thread, I would like to say that the police are currently not behaving in a way that should influence anyone's college decision, and I am saying that as a very social student.
Orcaaa, just quit it. U.S News and World Report has us as the 12th best liberal arts school in the country, there is a great deal of upside to going here. And no, going here is not risking a criminal record anymore than going anywhere else at this point.
VMI here. Several members of Lexington police (most are okay) are abusive of their power. I have been a victim of it, as well as other cadets. Whenever possible try to deal with county police or state police (our VMI cops are all state troopers).
A certain member of the Lexpo, who was rumored to be DQ'ed from MEPS (unfit to join the military) is known for hating cadets or anyone associated with the military. The stunt he pulled on me (which I know now is common) was waiting outside the bar (I'm over 21), then confronting us and arresting us for being drunk in public, solely on the grounds that we have alcohol on our breath. He also pulled this on a combat vet who was a week back on his 4th deployment.
Now I'm paying hundreds of dollars in lawyers fee's to fight this ridiculous charge.
Don't drink in Lexington, and avoid the town police at all costs. Blue cars are bad.
Washington and Lee was my number one choice for years. This is the first I've heard of the police problem, and it's pretty discouraging. I was getting ready to start my Early Decision application to W&L, but now I'm reconsidering. Maybe I'll apply ED to SMU or U Richmond instead. I plan on being in a fraternity, wherever I go to school. Now I have the same question as everyone else: Why would I want to go there?
^ If it were me ... I wouldn't let the postings of strangers in the internet stop me (who knows what their agenda is) ... however the postings might give me pause. How about contacting a couple frats at W&L and asking them about the deal with the police? If they complain heavily then maybe if you should reconsider your list.