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February 11, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-11

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 11, 1999 - 5A

#Student
takes out
$10,000
an books,
By David Klepper
Daily Illini (U. Illinois)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Those with
overdue library books might want to
learn from the lesson of University of
Illinois student Sean Harte.
After a search warrant, a warrant for
his arrest, 43 days in jail and numerous
hone calls from librarians, Harte still
d not return his overdue university
library books.
Harte began borrowing the books
two years ago, and soon he had
amassed 174 books - books he kept in
cardboard boxes at his home. All told,
the books had an estimated value of
$10,000.
Eventually, after charges of theft
were brought against him, police recov-
ed the books. Harte pleaded guilty
Tuesday to charges of misdemeanor
theft.
As part of his plea, Harte must under-
go psychological evaluation. He is also
banned from the Illinois campus.
When Harte missed his first court
date, a warrant for his arrest was
issued. Harte spent the 43 days in
Champaign County Jail for failing to
appear in court.
Though failure to return library
W oks might seem like a minor offense,
arte's transgression is no laughing
matter, according to officials.
"Those books had value, thousands
of dollars of the property of the
University of Illinois," said Champaign
County State Attorney John Piland,
who oversaw the case against Harte.
"We can't have people taking hundreds
of books and not returning them. It's
,pacceptable..
Piland said Harte gave no indication
of a motive for the theft. Harte himself
could not be reached.
Many of the books concerned the
politics and culture of India and China.
Others, such as "Principles of Fish
Nutrition," appeared not to fit into any
single field of study.
Harte made no attempt to return the
books, even after library officials con-
tacted him. University of Illinois cam-
Ais police also asked Harte to return
the books, still to no avail.
"At that point, I said we were going
to get those books one way or the
other," Piland said"We got a search
warrant and then finally recovered the
books from his residence"
The search warrant was executed
Nov. 20. The campus police also found
seven additional books stolen from the
llinois library, according to the investi-
ator's report.
"All of this could have been avoid-
ed," Piland said. "We have no interest in
tracking down library books.
But obviously, when someone makes
no effort to return so many books, we
have to get involved."
Frances O'Brien, Illinois deputy
librarian, said infractions of Harte's
magnitude are uncommon.
"It doesn't happen often;' she said.
"I would like to think that few students
'ould abuse their borrowing privileges
like that."

O'Brien said the police are rarely
called in to help recover overdue books.
Piland agreed, saying it was the first
time he had ever brought a suit of this
kind.
Though the precise regulations vary
from library to library, the Illinois bor-
rowing system as a whole does not
mit students to a certain number of
ooks. So no librarian could do any-
thing to stop Harte from collecting
books until they were overdue.

Spring is in the air

Dartmouth to create a
co-ed Greek system

By Jacob T. Elberg
The Dartmouth
HANOVER, N.H. - In what will
mark the most significant change at
Dartmouth College since coeduca-
tion, the Dartmouth Board of Trustees
and College President James Wright
announced Tuesday a plan which will
put an end to the single-sex fraternity
and sorority system, which has exist-
ed at the College for more than 150
years.
Although it is unclear at this point
what the new system will look like,
Wright told The Dartmouth on Tuesday
the trustees' decision will mean an end
to the Greek system "as we know it."
The board - which yesterday
released a revolutionary list of five
principles aimed at overhauling resi-
dential and social life at Dartmouth -

will look for input from the communi-
ty before deciding on a new social sys-
tem.
Wright said both he and the trustees
are prepared to weather the student and
alumni opposition they expect will result
from the decision, which will change the
face of social and residential life on a
campus where more than 35 percent of
undergraduates are members of the 25
single-sex fraternities and sororities.
"This is not a referendum on these
things,' Wright said. "We are commit-
ted to doing this"
Wright said the decision on the
design of the new system will be made
early in fall or winter of the upcoming
year, and said although it is not yet clear
whether Greek houses will be able to
hold traditional rush next fall, "as you
get out two years and three years there's

less and less likelihood of that"
That means members of the Class of
2001, who joined Greek houses this
year, are unlikely to be participating in
a traditional rush process during their
senior year.
In addition to a call for a social sys-
tem which is "substantially coeduca-
tional and provide(s) opportunities for
greater interaction among all
Dartmouth students," the trustees said
they will seek changes to the
Dartmouth residential system and
improvement of campus social space
when they released their statement of
"five principles that will characterize
the future residential and social life of
students at the college."
The trustees are prepared to spend
"tens of millions of dollars" to finance
the changes, Wright said.

AP PHOTO
Plymouth resident Scott Merriman fishes in the Huron River yesterday while
enjoying the weather.
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