There have been multiple reports of repeated acts of theft in Midlands since the start of the academic year.
Although several announcements and sessions have been held, the girls continue to experience loss of expensive personal belongings including large sums of money.
“Most of us have a really busy week. We do not stay in our rooms all the time and the thief uses this to her advantage and steals our stuff. I lost a very expensive perfume recently and there is nothing I can do about it,” Gauri Pasbola, Class of 2021, said.
Dorm parents have constantly been working on improving the situation through the introduction of new policies such as certain timings to open the device cupboard in which grades 10 and 11 keep their gadgets for the night, the parcel cupboard where couriers for students are stored, and the money safe, however, not much change can be seen.
In fact, some students find it rather “irritating” and an “irrational decision as it is sad for people who don’t [steal] and they still have to face the consequences,” Farzin Haque, Class of 2021, said.
On weekends, girls have to wake up before 8 a.m. to get their gadgets which often disturbs their sleep as the cupboard opens only twice a day for one hour each time.
The school policy states that it is not responsible for any valuable items that are not submitted to the school, therefore, “it is [the student’s] responsibility to take care of her belongings,” Mrs. Mijung Park, dorm parent, said. “We also want the situation to get better. I wanted to put a personal safe in each room, but we do not have the budget for it.”
The only advice students are given is to lock their cupboards and rooms whenever they step out. However, students think of dorms as their second home and a place where they should feel secure. Hence, many girls feel that this cannot be a sustainable solution to the issue.
“Every time someone loses something we are just told to lock our stuff, but should I really be locking my door each time I go to the washroom? If I feel so insecure here then how is this my home?” Siwon Park, Class of 2021, questioned.
As the identity of the thief/thieves remains unknown, students find it difficult to trust each other at times which “puts up a barrier in [their] relationship, making [them] suspect anyone [they] do not know that well,” Haque said.
Dorm parents understand the students’ frustration towards the situation, but because “the school respects children’s rights,” Mrs. Park said, it cannot disrespect someone’s privacy by “checking their things” in order to find the culprit.
“Once we did check everyone’s rooms and found the girls who had stolen others parcels but to do that we have to present the whole case to higher authorities only then we might get the authorization to do such a thing,” Mrs. Park added.
Despite the fact that dorm parents have to go through a long and hectic process to get permission to investigate each room, some students deem it a necessary move in order to find the thief.
Archita Aggarwal is the news editor for The Woodstocker
Edited by Janvi Poddar
Photos by Archita Aggarwal