Visually impaired student victim of theft
By Phil McMullin
A backpack containing valuable electronic equipment was stolen from a visually impaired student in the Dining Commons on Thursday, Oct. 23.
Tyler Terrasi a senior liberal arts major, uses technology specifically geared toward his needs.
The contents of the bag, said Tyler, included his “laptop (an essential piece of equipment for academics and for the storage of important personal and other records), Gash drives on which files were backed up, a portable radio, and a few other smaller items.”
That day, Terrasi went to the McCarthy Center Dining Commons with his friends and placed his backpack and cane beneath his seat. During the meal, Terrasi moved three seats to his left, leaving his belongings where they were. When he had finished eating, his backpack was missing.
In an email interview with LaDonna Bridges, director of Academic Success and Access/Disability Services and CASA co-director, said, “Tyler uses very sophisticated and expensive screen reading software on his laptop. This program allows him equal access to readings, writing and the Internet as a sighted person has.” Losing this equipment, she said, could impact Terrasi’s academic record this semester.
Some of Terrasi’s belongings have been replaced. ITS lent him a laptop with a current screen-reading program.
“Although I am certainly not blaming the victims of theft,” said Bridges, “these situations serve as reminders to all of us to be careful to secure our backpacks, phones, laptops or other personal items.”
Terrasi is not the only student who has been a victim of theft at Framingham State University in recent years. Kevin Quin, a senior communication arts major, said, “My freshman year, when I was living in the dorms, my roommate had his laptop stolen – right from our room.” Quin added that he and his roommates frequently had people in and out of their room, and that “we kind of had it coming.”
Many students believe their belongings are safe on campus. Megan Downing, a freshman criminology major, said, “I know I leave my ID and phone on the table when I go get food.”
Senior history major Ben Hitefeld agreed. “I leave my bag everywhere all the time. I’ve never really worried about it.”
Ben McNally, a junior communication arts major, said that if intramural sports players were given individual lockers, then security of personal items would be increased.
Junior criminology major Thomas Rainsford said students would benefit from “cameras overlooking the book-cubbies near the book store.” Rainsford recently had a sum of money stolen at that location.
Several students said they took comfort in the bag checks implemented in all of the dormitories on campus. “But then again,” said Julia Sarcinelli, a sophomore English major, “you don’t really know, when someone opens their bag and there’s a laptop in there, whether it’s their laptop or someone else’s.”
Terrasi is recuperating from the incident, replacing his belongings as quickly as possible. He still hopes, however, that his original possessions are returned.
“To those responsible for stealing my backpack,” said Tyler, “fess up and quit while you’re behind. You have gained nothing whatsoever by your actions – I am confident that karma will eventually come back to get you in the end.