It’s every risk manager’s worst nightmare and every anti-Greek blogger’s wet dream: someone falling from a fraternity house roof or window. Unfortunately, this happens all too often. It happened around this time last year at MIT, and now, it’s happened again.
Late on the night of Aug. 31, police received a call from the Lambda Chi house at MIT after “a student not affiliated with MIT fell from a window.” Emergency responders promptly arrived and transported the victim, a female student, to the hospital. Thankfully, once there, she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Despite her fall from a third-story window, it sounds as if the victim is going to be okay. Regardless of her condition and regardless of who is to blame, it’s safe to assume that this chapter, as well as all of Greek life at MIT, is about to get screwed.
Last year, after a similar incident, campus officials banned parties, events, and gatherings where there were more guests than there were actual occupants of the residence where the party was taking place.
When you think about it, that, and any collective, punitive action that could take place following this recent incident, is complete and utter bullshit. If the school wanted to punish any individuals who were found responsible, that would be fine. After all, this is America. If the school wanted to punish the chapter due to poor risk management, I could see that as being justifiable, provided the evidence is all there. But if the school chooses to punish everyone simply because of the actions of a few, that’s where I see a problem.
For all we know, this could have been a simple accident that could have happened to anyone under any circumstances. Sure, it’s unlikely, but it’s a possibility. What does the school gain from punishing the entire student body? Absolutely nothing. Does it make anyone safer? That’s debatable, but I’m going to say no. If anything, it’s just going to cause students to get rebellious against an aggressive administration. As a result, the students could take out their frustration by having a couple million cold ones, throwing a party that serves as a big middle finger to the school, and possibly doing something unsafe that they wouldn’t do under normal circumstances.
Look, I’m not saying it’s okay that a student fell from a window. Believe me, I think that anyone who is found responsible should receive just punishment. However, I think the school cracking down on everyone else in a manner similar to what it did last year is just a pathetic attempt to cover its ass and make it look like the school is actually addressing the problem.
Hopefully, everyone at the school remains levelheaded and nobody makes any rash decisions. Hopefully, any flaws in risk management can be fixed at the Lambda Chi house and at other fraternity houses at the school, as well as those across the nation. Most importantly, we can all hope that the student who fell from the window makes a full and speedy recovery.
[via Boston Herald]
Image via Matt West