DS View: Choices

Even the best of us make poor decisions, but even the worst of us deserve opportunities for redemption.


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Earlier this month, a UND anthropology major was arrested for assaulting an officer during a DUI traffic stop. Apparently, the student was only one semester away from graduating and had already been accepted into graduate school.

But not anymore.

Before that fateful night, she had a clean criminal record. But now her life has changed significantly due to one poor decision.

We, the Dakota Student editorial board, believe this should be a cautionary tale to students. While it is unfortunate that a girl with such a promising future should be put in such a difficult situation — in which she now faces a felony charge — we should try to avoid putting ourselves in situations that can have such a negative impacts on our lives.

Although everyone likes to cut loose every once in a while, getting too drunk to control your actions can have a terrible impact on your life.

That should go without saying, but apparently it doesn’t.

It’s scary to think about, but one bad decision is all it takes to ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for. On the other hand, people who make mistakes should be given a chance to make amends for their choices and be allowed an opportunity to get their life back on track.

Don’t be mistaken — crimes such as driving under the influence and assault on an officer are serious offenses that warrant punishment. Without punishment, more people would probably drive drunk or disrespect officers in situations where they might actually help.

But on an individual basis, people who break such laws should be dealt with but then be given a chance to move forward with their life once they have completed their punishment.

Carrying around the stigma of a felony for the rest of your life is a punishment that should be reserved for a select number of crimes — considering the criminal is willing to prove to society that they acknowledge the seriousness of their mistake and are trying to move forward with their life.

When you make a choice, remember that the results of that choice have the potential to follow you for the rest of your life.