Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1983-03-081
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u in IVidcats ose, playoffs in Reno story on page 9 Vol. 43, No. 37 U U UEbER STATE CollEqE Tuesday, March 8, 1983 I Would you report a shoplifter? Sociology class researches shoplifting by Lisa Wright Managing Editor You are browsing through a store and notice a person beside you casually pick up book and hide it in his coat. It is obvious to you what your neighbor isdoing--he is shoplifting. Now what do you do? Notify a store employee or just ignore the event and pretend that it never happenedafter all, it's really none of your business, anyway-right? "Who Reports Shoplifters" is the topic of a special research project conducted by eight sociology students of Robert Heffernan's Sociology 466 class. According to John Wulff, a project member, the main thrust of the study is to find out the percentage of shoppers that would report a shoplifting incident if they saw it, The group hypothesized that people from a smaller, rural community would be more apt to report a shoplifter; a well-dressed person would be less likely to be turned in than one who was wearing grubby clothing, and women would report shoplifting more often than men. Some of the hypotheses bore fruit while others didn't. The eight members of the study are Ernest Nunez, John Wulff, Laura Roe, Robert Whitemore, Jenny Freeman, Bob Heffernan and Bucky Walters. Only two of them, Robert Whitemore and Jenny Freeman, did the shoplifting and the other six observed people's reactions and questioned their reasons for either reporting or not reporting the shoplifting. The students have been working on the project for most of the quarter and spent a total of four days shoplifting in the WSC Bookstore. It needs to be noted here that the group had the full cooperation of the bookstore managment. All of the employees were made aware of the project and they even went so far as to turn off the detection system at the store's exit when either Whitemore or Freeman went through with their 'stolen' merchandise.There was a total of 100 people (50 men and 50 women) observed and questioned for the study. At the time they saw the shoplifting they were unaware that it was a school project. For the project to succeed Whitemore and Freeman had to be seen lifting the store's merchandise. To make certain that they had been seen, they would first make eye contact with the person targeted to be surveyed and hold contact while they took something-making sure all the while that the person was well aware of what was going on. The member of the project who was there observing also made sure that Whitemore or Freeman had been seen. ! . i (Front row, left to right) Professor Bob Heffernan, Jenny Freeman and pho' by Rodney Wnsh' Robert Whitmore; (back row, left to right) Bucky Walters, Ernest research project for their class on shoplifting and people who are Nunez, Laura Roe and John Wulff are sociology students who did a willing to report shoplifters. The results of the survey are as follows: 26 reported the shoplifting to a bookstore employee; 33 said that they had seen the shoplifting, but didn't report it; and 41 claimed that they hadn't seen a thing. Duncan said that they were very careful to make sure each person had seen the shoplifting take place. According to Nunez, those who turned in the shoplifters were highly emotional and very upset. Of the 26 who turned in the shoplifters, three were from large cities, about the size of L.A.; nine were from medium-sized cities like Salt Lake; and 14 were from small, rural areas. Of those 33 who didn't turn anyone in, but admitted seeing the shoplifting, four were from large cities, 12 from medium and 17 from small, rural areas. One person said that he didn't report the shoplifting because he was from Brooklyn and "we don't report things in Brooklyn." There were various other reasons for not reporting the shoplifting, ranging from not wanting to get involved to being afraid that they would have to talk to the police or testify in court if they turned in the shoplifter. The students are still compiling the results of their research and more information will be available later. See 'Class studies...' on page 3 Education fares poorly in Legislature by Kathy Kendell Government Affairs Reporter The Utah state system of higher education came out of the 45th legislative session bruised and bloody. According to several legislators the severe cuts need not have happened at all had foresight been used. By examining alternatives such as severance or property tax increases, revenues could have been generated. "The majority party should have addressed the need for more revenues." said Rep. Mike Dmitrich, House minority leader. Echoing the same view was House minority whip Blaze Wharton, "To come up with adequate funding we would have had to raise taxe.c" something the Republican leadership vould not consider." According to Mike Zuhl, the state's budget director, Governor Matheson devised his budget in an effort to live within the state's available revenues. The governor realized his proposed budget would not meet the needs of higher education. "He (Matheson) put forward proposals which, in total, would have generated $100 million in revenue to cover salary increases for state employees," said Zuhl, "institution professors fall into that category." However, with the latest round of cuts in higher education budgets, salary increases as well as student enrollment will be affected. Rep. LaMont Richards (R), put much of the blame for the unforeseen cuts on the Board of Regents figures concerning student enrollments. "The Board of Regents failed to get accurate figures on enrollment pressures," said Richards. "Those figures reflected greatest growth at the technical colleges. The legislative fiscal analyst was forced to use those figures when he made his recommendations."Richards praised Weber's own vocational program and said that the shift to technical-oriented jobs accounted in part for the technical schools faring so well in the budget battle. Both of Utah's technical colleges, while not immune from budget cuts, came out better than any of the other state institutions. "Technical training is being emphasized more and more," said Rep. Wharton, "their constituency is growing." "More students were budgeted for at the two technical schools than the other institutions," said Senator Richard Carl-ing (R). According to Carling, the tech schools are getting money for actual growth which Weber is not. The committee on higher education recommended $1.2 million to cover growth at all institutions in the state. With the latest round of cuts that figure now stands at just over $457,000. That leaves over 2,000 students in Utah's system of higher education unfunded. The underfunding of higher education is a trend which many legislators feel will continue. "Every year the governor shortchanges higher education," said Sen. Carling. "so the legislature has to allocate more. This year the problem is worse than most, and attention has been focused on the problem." Rep. Richards sees the problem as a legislative one. "There is a conservative trend against higher education, coming mainly from freshman legislators," said Richards. Whatever the source of blame, there can be no doubt that the system of higher education in the state is in a crisis-one which will not be resolved quickly or cheaply.
|Title||Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1983-03-08, Vol. 43, No. 37|
|Creator||Weber State College|
|Contributors||Associated Students of Weber College; A generous grant from the Utah State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.|
|Description||Weber's current student newspaper, the Signpost, first appeared on September 29, 1937. For two years prior to that time, campus news was disseminated via announcements posted on a bulletin board known as the "Signpost". As a result, the masthead of the first issue of the paper itself featured a rudimentary wooden sign with the title spelled out in rustic-looking letters. Over the years the paper has been published continuously, though the look, size and style has changed several times.|
|Subject||College student newspapers and periodicals; Weber State College|
|Publisher Digital||Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Source||University Archives LD5893.W55 S5, Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Rights Management||Public Domain. Courtesy of University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.|