So I just read the campus-wide email (dang, crash beat me to it) sent by Deans Rick Culliton and Mike Whaley about Beta’s independent status on campus. I would like you all to join me in a resounding “WTF?”
Not that I keep up with frat news or anything, but I haven’t heard of anything really out of the ordinary happening at Beta in the 3.75 years that I’ve been here. I think a lot of us already knew that the house was privately-owned. And I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that 100% of us knew that people drink a lot at the frat. So what’s the point of this email?
Apparently, the Deans are simply worried about our safety and have taken Beta’s reluctance (failure?) to regain official recognition from the university as a sign that Beta bros don’t care about underage drinking in their house. [They mention “safety concerns and behavioral issues” and “illegal and unsafe behavior” but I think that’s just referring to the drinking, right? Is there something else we should know about, Deans?] And the worst part of it all is this: “Beta has chosen not to enter into an affiliation agreement with the University and to continue to prohibit Public Safety from addressing behavioral and/or safety concerns on its property.” That’s right, Psafe can’t bust Beta parties!
Lest you think that’s something to celebrate about, they make sure you remember that this is all about YOU and your SAFETY:
“we advise all Wesleyan students that they should avoid the residence because we cannot establish the safety of the premises…[yadayada]… until then, we remain deeply concerned about the safety of those students who choose to affiliate with the house or attend events there against our advice.”
Um, thanks for the advice? I’m pretty sure I don’t know anybody in Beta and I don’t party there myself, but if I had to guess, I would say that Wesleyan students who choose to spend their time at Beta know exactly what they’re doing. I bet there is a lot of underage drinking going on in the house (and elsewhere), but the “deep concern” seems a bit over the top.
Are they deeply concerned about the kiddies breaking the law? That happens here anyway. Getting the MPD to pick on Beta will just have them breaking the law elsewhere.
Are they deeply concerned about people getting alcohol poisoning? That happens here anyway and why would the house be to blame?
Are they deeply concerned about the fact that Psafe can’t babysit us? We’re big kids now. Anyway, Psafe busting parties doesn’t so much stop us from doing stupid and illegal things as it makes things way less fun and students more resentful.
I get that the administration wants to make it clear that whatever happens in Beta is not their fault. But there must be a way to make it clear that you’re not liable for these things without making the independent frat look like a den of sin and danger. Even more importantly, there must be a way for admins to acknowledge our freedom to make certain decisions without making it all about how bad things will happen to us if we don’t listen to the adults. Unless something else has been going on at the house that I don’t know about, this email just seems like condescending fear mongering (is there any other kind?).
Have a great spring break, everybody! But make sure you don’t have too much fun, or you could get HURT.