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Harvard students may be some of the most brilliant people in the country. Most have impeccable academic credentials; many go on from Harvard to intellectual stardom. They become prize-winning scientists, acclaimed authors and brilliant historians.
However, Harvard students sometimes appear to lack the intelligence that they are too often heralded for. In one crucial field, Harvard students continue to struggle to make the grade.
I refer, of course, to thievery. The students who can ace the SAT and crack the LSAT fail miserably when they attempt to steal money from student organizations. In the last few years, embezzlement scandals have been all to frequent at the College. Yet, most of the thieves have shown a complete lack of criminal skill or ingenuity.
In case after case, once it has been discovered that funds are missing, a fairly clear trail of evidence leads right to the guilty student. These thefts are never puzzling whodunits that baffle the authorities.
It is difficult to understand why Harvard cannot produce thieves who demonstrate at least a modicum of cleverness. Are these students just morons? How can thieves who can pass the QRR and complete a Science A problem set not realize that they should attempt to cover their tracks? How stupid is someone who merely writes checks to themselves from the account of the organization that they are supposed to manage?
The pathetic actions of these embezzlers are an insult to this fine institution. Certainly, it looks bad when Ivy League kids who are supposed to be the cream of the crop are caught stealing. But it looks even worse when their crimes are so amateurish.
Both the University and various student organizations should take steps to prevent the easy thefts that have been occurring recently. But would-be thieves should also think twice. If they make the scurrillous decision to steal, they should at least put some effort into devising schemes that will frustrate the Cambridge police for more than a few hours.
After all, Harvard students already know a little bit about deception. Their resumes, padded with bogus activities and acheivements, testify to their ability and willingness to decieve. Students who choose to steal should plan elaborate crimes. Then, we would all be entertained by protracted campus mysteries until the greedy whizkids are caught and thrown into the slammer. David W. Brown
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