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+Black market+ scantrons damage students+ futures, book stores

April 9, 1997

'Black market' scantrons damage students' futures, book stores

Lee Shields

campus columnist

The issue:

'Black market' scantrons

His view:

High-priced scantrons

victimize

students in need.

How many times has this happened to you? You arrive at your 11 o'clock class only to discover that your instructor has scheduled a test without your permission. In haste, you ask amongst your colleagues if anyone has an extra scantron for you to borrow. Their blank facial expressions have 'No, go away' written all over them. So, what are your options?

Well, you could fail the test, quit school and go home. Mom and Dad will be heartbroken. Then you get maybe a six-month grace period, and then you have to get a job; you know what that means. That's right -- you start off at the drive-up window, and then gradually make your way from shakes to burgers until one day your lucky break comes--the fry guy dies and they offer you the job. But on the day you're supposed to start work, three men in dark suits drive up in a black Lincoln Continental and offer you a quick $300 just to drive a van back from Mexico.

When you get out of jail, you're 33 years old. No job. No home. No upward mobility. Very few teeth. And then they finally find you, laying face down in the gutter, your hands clutching a bottle of paint thinner. And why? Because you had no scantrons.

Or, you can visit the local scantron pusher who hangs around your local academic building. Yes, for the often outrageous price of $1, you can quickly obtain a 'black market scantron' from such an enabler. Anyone who has taken theater appreciation or walks about the lobby of the Hankamer School of Business has come face to face with this type of 'sell.'

Not only do these dealings provide illegal profit for these scantron cartels, but they only add to the improprieties which give good capitalists bad names. Some of these dealers even resemble members of Baylor faculty. And what becomes of the profits gained in these transactions? Perhaps the money is donated to a local charity -- I think not. Naturally, these criminal offenses should raise concern with the legitimate scantron providers in the area.

Unfortunately, the Baylor Book Store was unavailable for comment. However, you can imagine how peeved stores like the bookstore must be. The war on drugs must continue, if not for any reason but the sheer novelty of it's Reagan-era roots, and likewise, the battle against black-market Scantrons is inevitable.

Students campus-wide are urged to embrace the classic slogan of 'Just Say No' and rise up against these Scantron oppressors. Sharing your scantrons with the unfortunate who arrive to class without is the only means by which we can drive these black market scantron dealers out of business. We all know Student Congress legislation would never get anything accomplished.

Lee Shields is a sophomore telecommunications major from Bedford.

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