Help the T Thief Replace the T
Earlier this semester, the T was stolen from Tech Tower on Georgia Tech's campus. The T thief, a good friend of mine and a great student, originally faced serious criminal charges but the Institute dropped those later on to handle the matter internally. Tech's judicial process ended in the thief's suspension from now until August, along with a restitution payment totalling $14,823.98. As a student, he has no hope of paying this without taking out loans, especially after losing the ~$15,000 paid into this semester's out-of-state tuition. Please help me raise the money to pay the thief's restitution. Everyone who has been to Tech understands the magnitude of what he did. This fundraiser is how we can show our combined support for him! Anything donated above the $14,824 for restitution will go towards replacing the $5,000 paid to hire a lawyer while the heavy criminal charges were on the table, and any beyond that to recouping his tuition money.
We can do this!
UPDATE: "I stole the T and while I may be a hero to some, I inadvertently cost the Institute an enormous amount of money and staff time. Someone has to pay for that, and it's me. But I can't do that alone, and I ask your help."
Wow. The first thing I have to say is just thank you to everyone that donated, and to the student that hosted this fundraiser. It is truly humbling to have such a devoted Tech family come behind and support me in this crisis that I brought upon myself. However, I am saddened by the attitude that many of you expressed towards the administration in the donation comments. Tech was not out to get me in all of this and Dean Stein actually treated me very fairly and lessened the duration of my suspension that OSI had decided upon. The $14,823.98 restitution fee is not a made up number, that is what it cost to repair the T and put it back up as OSI detailed to me. I have received the punishment that GT gave me and have accepted responsibility for my actions, but I did not oppose the creation of this site because that would be prideful to refuse help when it is offered. Tech teaches us throughout our time here that we need the support of others, and that has never been so evident to me. Even if the restitution gets funded, I am still $20,000+ in debt because of lost tuition money and legal expenses, so in no way am I coming out scot free from this and I will be working hard for the next several years to pay my parents back. I love Georgia Tech, and am sorry that my actions have harmed it.
READ THIS: according to the T book of traditions GIVEN by Georgia Tech, it says this exact wording "the magnificent sevent stole the T from tech tower for the first time in 1969. Ever since then stealing the T has been one of the most exciting yet unattainable traditions. Tradition states that the specific T to be stolen is the one facing the 1-75/1-85 highway.. and gets into more detail" You can argue a legal case you were upholding to traditions, and the mere idea of stealing the T came from the school itself as they set this on themselves by basically challenging anyone. If it's addressed in their own handbook you can win a legal case easy... Get a lawyer man, i mean seriously you can win this in your court yourself it wouldn't even be hard.
while i appreciate the thief taking responsibility for his actions and saying he was treated fairly by the administration (very classy mr. thief), everyone who has donated so far to this fundraiser humbly disagrees. you may think you got mercy by having your suspension lessened (and that may be true based on the official punishments), but the general consensus among students/alumni is that you shouldn't have had to deal with any of this negative fallout - especially the fiscal costs. at the end of the day, you did something that encapsulates everything a Tech student should thrive for. you met a herculean engineering task head-on that most would dismiss as too difficult to be worthwhile. the fact that it's most students' favorite tradition (outside of perhaps George P. Burdell) simply underscores our displeasure with the administration's reaction. reading up on the history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tech_Tower#Institute_reaction), it's unfortunate that the event which led to this official position had absolutely nothing to do with this tradition. it involved climbing a different building, for a different reason, by a non-Tech student. no one says they have to openly encourage this behavior (and legally speaking it makes perfect sense that they wouldn't) but they certainly didn't have to bill you for restitution. $15k is a drop in the bucket to a massive institution like Tech, but instead they decided to pass on these expenses to one of their best and brightest, causing genuine hardship in your life. you know what that sounds like? a bully. i'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most Tech students hate bullies. that's why we're donating. cheers to you.
If you didn't go to Tech, you won't understand this, so please go away! For the past four decades, anyone able to take the T was given a slap on the wrist. They were cheered around campus and celebrated. That is what should happen here. The punitive fine smells of "political correctness" run amuck that I read about so often in the "Technique." Well done young man, well done indeed. Remember Admin, alumni are watching this!
There is no way he cause $15K in damages or cost to put it back up. That may be what the company doing it is charging, but GT is getting ripped off if they are paying that much. Restitution is defined as paying back what it cost someone to fix or replace what was damaged or stolen, so it is an accurate term. Tech dropped its criminal charges because if this kid had been charged for it, they would lost a lot more in Roll Call donations than they would get back from this student.
Something doesn't add up here. If he really did cause $15k in damage, why would Tech drop its criminal charges? That's a lot of damage. Did he take it down with a rocket launcher? There's a good chance he's defending the school administration for fear of further retribution. If he did legitimately cause $15k in damage, then I think this entire campaign is misleading prospective donors by using the term "restitution" as opposed to "actual physical damage". My 2 cents.
With all due respect to the student that opened this campaign and the T Thief, while I know he is supposedly "outraged" at what we who have donated have put in our comments on our donation, it is a shame that the Hill would pressure these two students to distance themselves from this campaign and try to control the free speech on this page and our comments displeasure with how this was treated. If the Hill wants to eradicate stealing of the T, then they need to strip the tradition from all official publications. Until then they can be mad all they want. My donation was taken from what I will be giving Roll Call this year. $15K to put the T back up is a ridiculous inflated cost. It should have been put out for bid. I'm also sure there are plenty of companies run by GT Alumni that would have restored the T at a significant discount if not free.
There are MUCH better charitable causes out there than helping some brat avoid the consequences of his actions. Nobody forced him to steal it. He has already been given a big break by dropping the criminal charges. He can deal with this himself.
"Help a stupid criminal pay for something he stole" nah
Students and alumni helping each other out since 1885.. By the way, this campaign is totally legit. EE (don't know when I'm graduating)
Ill also confirm that this page is legit to its source (to fund the violator in regards to his fines). Just an idea: maybe post up a story w/ links to Reddit and other forums? Not going to lie, it is a little silly to post on here asking for money though. When I had my legal issues at tech, I dont recall ANYBODY lending a helping hand (financial or any supporting actions)(even my "brothers" at my fraternity), so I had to suffer the consequences of my actions and the way that they were presented to GaTech. The only reason I donated is because I know from experience how poorly the GaTech judicial system handles their incidents, and I hope that the violator (a friend of mine) can move forward in his life understanding that he committed a crime and has to pay the restitutions imposed, but is free from any legal marks that could follow him. If those legal issues have been dropped, then this campaign takes away from real issues to donate towards; but simply subsidize a lack of consequences for illegal behavior and encourage repetition of similar behaviors.
Lighten up guys. This is the first time in 15 years it's been "stolen". The reporters were joking around about it, even Buzz went down there to pose with students in front of it. When I was working on my BS Computer Science, we even had an assignment where we were to devise methods for stealing the T. It was a *required* assignment to demonstrate problem solving skills. You can see from the photos and video that little damage was caused, if any (I couldn't see any, looked like a clean lift). $15,000 will cover quite a few hours of a campus maintenance guy in a bucket truck and leave enough left over to buy a few thousand burgers at Juniors. You've got to chuckle at the people foaming at the mouth for "justice". The reality is he's paying a fine for embarrassing the school admin. I'd help settle the guy's debt, but considering where the money would be going in the end, I'll pass. Thanks for the degrees, Gatech!
Some of you guys are idiots if you actually think he should just get away with this scot-free. It cost the university $15,000 to replace the T, so it's fitting that he repay them for the damage he caused. Get over the "tradition" crap for like two seconds, please.
Ten bucks says this is some random guy about to make $15,000. Now that is industrious!
This guy has got some cohunes, and he will be a legend for it! The fine he has to pay is ridiculous, but I completely understand that GT wants to use him as an example to prevent others from attempting this in the future. Perhaps one of the original 'Magnificient Seven' should be generous enough to offer up some cash (especially as one is supposedly still an 'active member' in the GT community)!
If this guy is industrious enough to steal the T, he is industrious enough to pay the money. Begging for help is not the way to go about it. "Being a student, he has no hope..."
God our school is deplorable. I can't wait to see what the smoking fine on campus will be when the tobacco ban takes effect.
What's to learn here? Stealing the T from Tech Tower is something most Tech students dreamed about and made plans about for years! He's not going to take the T again. The fines are to make an example of him so that no other student will attempt this again (and maybe to keep someone's budget satisfied this fiscal year)...but as long as students can dream I can guarantee you this is not the last time the T will be taken. This man is a hero. It's a tradition. It's daring! It's like poetry. I see no crime here. George P. Burdell would be proud. There's no shame in asking for help either. You don't need scars to show you've learned something.
Anyone else cringe at Madison's rants? Please help this guy out. Oh, and *cough* *cough*, it's "implore".
As a more recent Tech grad, I haven't, as others apparently have, forgotten that taking the T is a long standing tradition at Tech - one that even the campus tour guides still talk about. Taking the T has gotten harder every time it's returned, and the fact that this guy was able to do it should be a source of pride in an engineer's ingenuity, especially as I'm sure it wasn't done with malicious intent. Rather than making him pay a ridiculous sum (and seriously, Madison, how the hell is a full time college student supposed to make $15,000 on short notice?), they should have made him fix it and attempt to secure it better as a new challenge for the next generation. Keep in mind he doesn't just have to pay the restitution money, he also lost the $15,000 in tuition he had already paid. While I think that he obviously should have expected some repercussions for his actions, I don't think that the punishment is proportional the the crime, nor do I think this will teach him any valuable lessons. If I were in his shoes, the only thing this would engender would be a deep resentment and disrespect for an institution that loves to talk about its traditions in its advertising, but then slaps down those who attempt to keep them alive.
Even if it is, there are ways to punish a college student without money. Making him do so many hours of cleaning up Tech, or something similar. Something that helps out the campus, is a sacrifice, but isn't money. To me, this just seems like Tech looking for an excuse to suck funds out of students under the guise of "restitution". Doesn't make me very proud to be a recent alumni, to be honest.