Viewing the drug bust from the student perspective
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 19:11
When a drug bust occurs, there are two ways the community reacts:
1. Praise of the police and gratitude for making the streets cleaner and safer
2. Snide remarks
Four UB students living in University Heights were arrested this weekend and accused of running a drug ring. Buffalo Police walked away with $64,000 in cash, nine pounds of marijuana, eight ounces of ecstasy, and a half-ounce of cocaine. The students in question were in court Thursday and face serious legal consequence.
Yet the reaction by many, especially those of student age, was “Only $64,000? That’s nothing.”
Perhaps we’ve sat in on one too many viewings of Breaking Bad, but it appears we have become not only desensitized but also apathetic. For us, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets caught.
The bust is indubitably a serious situation, but that doesn’t mean we take it seriously. The student community and younger generation can’t react the same way the rest of the community does. It’s become too common to actually have any kind of impact or shock value, so jokes are made and deals are ignored.
The Buffalo Newsused terms like “major drug ring” and “enterprise” to describe what was going on inside of 51 W. Northrup Place. We don’t look at these kids as drug lords like one typically would associate with a drug ring. They were our age: 21 and 22 years old. They are classmates, friends and colleagues.
And to us, they were dumb kids who were probably just desperate enough to need the extra cash and pay off college debt, not looking to run Buffalo’s drug industry.
Buffalo Police want it to be taken seriously. They believe the bust will help restore some of the order in the University Heights. Out of all the issues down in the Heights, though, this is not the one that will restore order, no matter how much BPD wants it to be. Students and residents living there know there is so much more work that needs to be done. Until then, it’s just one more issue that will get shrugged off until the bigger issues are taken care of.