Ransdell warns WKU freshmen to stay out of trouble

President Gary Ransdell has a message for WKU’s freshmen: be responsible.

Lauren Arnold

President Gary Ransdell is encouraging new students, especially freshmen, to stay out of trouble and help save WKU from any future embarrassment.

“Make smart decisions in your personal life and socially,” Ransdell told the Herald last Tuesday. “Don’t do stupid things that will get you in trouble or embarrass the university.

“I encourage every student to not only take care of themselves, but to take care of each other…If a friend, or any WKU student, is getting ready to do something stupid, stop them.”

He advised the freshman class to use caution with their new freedom.

“Many students are away for the first time, and a little bit of independence can be a dangerous thing,” Ransdell said. “So be smart and use good judgment.”

He said that students have to be held responsible for their actions and make good decisions, adding that “stupidity can be costly.”

Ransdell’s warning to the freshman class came less than a week after WKU freshman Tyler Webster was reinstated for violating the university’s code of conduct.

Webster was banned from WKU on Aug. 9 for planking and defacing the school with stickers promoting his website, plankresponsibly.com, but the ban was lifted on Aug. 18.

“When our students do stupid things, the university looks bad, but more important than that, (students) may not be able to recover,” he said.

Ransdell said that students who witness another WKU student abusing alcohol, blowing off a class, or getting ready to do something ill-advised should stop them and try to help them.

“We have an awful lot of 17, 18, 19 year olds converging on the campus who are away from home for the first time, and youth being what it is, some students make bad decisions,” he said.

Ransdell said he delivered the same message to freshmen at the MASTER Plan convocation on Aug. 22.

Franklin-Simpson freshman Britany Howard said she agrees with Ransdell.

“I would tell (freshmen) exactly what he said because you don’t embarrass your university,” she said.

Owensboro freshman Emily Free said she also thinks the message from Ransdell is fair.

“I agree because I know a lot of kids that have gone off to college and kind of abused their freedom,” she said.

Free said that if she saw a WKU student doing something that could get them into trouble, she probably wouldn’t get physically involved.

“I would advise them…but their choice is their choice,” she said.

Louisville freshman Max Dierken said that while the word “stupid” has various interpretations, he agrees with Ransdell as well.

“Definitely, if you see someone about to do something bad, you should stop them,” he said.

Dierken said if the student chose to continue with their poor decisions, he believes the repercussions from WKU will teach them a lesson.

“They’re about to learn a lesson anyway,” he said.