Boy howdy, I wish I were so entitled!

I don’t always read the Spartan Daily. Most days, I just glance at it. I pick it up, and see what the students are talking about on page two. Wednesday, a story caught my eye.

A.S. director arrested by UPD
Nguyen investigated for shoplifting

Well, now, that sounded interesting. Apparently Mr. Nguyen walked into the bookstore, picked out some notecards, a calendar, some pens and some scantron forms. $19.22 worth of merchandise. I know, it’s very easy to spend $20 bucks at the book store. But, here is the surprising thing. Instead of stopping by the cash register, Mr. Nguyen decided that he was just going to walk out without paying.

Now, what makes this different than any other pety shoplifing case? Hmm. Let’s see. Mr. Nguyen is the Associated Students Director of Legislative Affairs. That’s right. He works for the Associated Students… You would think he would know better. You know, being in student government and all. You would think that he would care about laws and such, being that he is the Director of Legislative Affairs. Nah. That means nothing to him.

I think that what makes this an intersting story, besides the whole student government thing (and that he recently ran for AS president and lost)… The reason Mike Nguyen gives for shoplifting, is one of the most audacious statements I have heard in a long time.

In a statement to campus police, Nguyen apologized and said he would not have taken the items had he not forgotten his wallet.

When did forgetting your wallet become a reason for shoplifting? I wish I had known about that! I would have started forgeting my wallet years ago. Think about all the great stuff I could have, all at no cost to me. Just for leaving my wallet at home. Hell, I’ve forgotten my purse two or three times in the past 2 months. I should have lived it up.

I think what bothers me most about this statement is the absolute sense of entitlement Mr. Nguyen exhibits. Obviously, he didn’t think that anything would come of him walking out of the bookstore with merchandise that he didn’t pay for. He is a AS director, right? And, that gives him special privileges at the bookstore that we don’t know about? I hardly think so.

Mr. Nguyen is just like every driver that runs that red light because they got to the intersection 2 seconds too late. Like every student in my BUS 92 class that wrote COBOL code together (more like copied off of one person). Like all those people who cut in front of you in line in the grocery store, just because they didn’t think you were really waiting in line. It’s this sense that they are better than the situation they have found themselves in, and therefore the rules really don’t apply.

It is my hope that Associated Students remove Mr. Nguyen from his position. I also hope the book store presses charges, if they can. Hell, I’d even like to see him put on probation. I think that it is important that SJSU take this seriously. Yeah, it’s minor. $20 bucks. But, the driving force behind the action, that sense of entitlement, is a huge issue in today’s world. It really does need to be dealt with. Maybe Mr. Nguyen needs to be an example of what not to do. He is a public figure, right? He should pay a very public price. Isn’t that what he thought he was entitled to?


  1. Amen, sister! You preach it!

  2. Amen

  3. Oooh, I better watch this case. It precedent is set to shoplift if you do not have your wallet, I am heading to Tiffanys.


  4. I agree with you that this is a very serious issue. Theft is a serious crime, no matter how small or big the amount. Once I walked out of the campus cafe with a cup of coffee without paying, not because I didn’t have my wallet, but because I was so distracted I forgot to pay. By the time I noticed what happened I didn’t have time to go back. You can imagine how surprised the staff were when I marched in next day to pay for the coffee I had the previous day!. And it was just a cup of coffee, I’m sure a lot of people would have thought it was no big deal… But it was for me.
    Oh, and people who jump queues are my pet peeve. I make really loud remarks if I am not on my own grin

  5. Oh, and the people who ask you whether you are queuing or not. Well, what does it look like? Or do they think we just like to stand in line?

  6. I must admit (hangs head in shame) I have walked out of a store with items that I didn’t pay for. It wasn’t intentional, it certainly wasn’t because I’d forgetten my wallet – I was just too interested in the conversation I was having with (oh it was an attractive woman, okay?) that I just breezed past the cashier.
    For the record, yes I went back and they wouldn’t let me pay, bless Safeway (UK/Glasgow), I owe you 4 pints of milk for eternity….