Letter from the Editor: Accountability is not just for other people

, , Leave a comment

This is a serious issue.

When President Glenn McConnell issued a statement that said “enough is enough” regarding the recent ban of alcohol for all Greek organizations on campus, there was a reason. In my understanding of the situation, there was more than just one reason.

The Princeton Review just named the College of Charleston 15th on its annual list of the Top 20 party schools in the nation. We have all seen it on our newsfeeds this past week. Total Sorority Move, Total Fraternity Move, Buzzfeed, TIME and other sites have been drawing a connection between the new ranking and the fact that President McConnell’s “crackdown” happened just days after.

Do not be misled. That was not the reason behind the alcohol ban.

PF picture
Courtney Eker, Editor in Chief of CisternYard News

In McConnell’s original email, he said it himself. “This is not a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated incident.” His email, which was sent out to the entire campus community, mentioned other reasons behind the ban such as medical transports due to “extreme intoxication.”

Not to mention the drug ring made up of College of Charleston students and graduates that was busted earlier this summer. Although McConnell did not attribute the ban to any drug-related activity, we do not live in a bubble.

The media, however, has chosen to highlight the ranking from The Princeton Review as the principal point of the story.

Current allegations being thrown around campus cite rape, hazing and abuse as possible causes for the alcohol ban. If even just one of those things are discovered to be true, the people who suffered those abuses have gone through much more physical and psychological suffering than most of us will ever have to experience.

One thing that I do not understand is hearing people on campus toss around senseless exaggerations like, “No alcohol at mixers? I would rather kill myself.”

This is not just about being bitter; this is utter disrespect. Utter disrespect for the College of Charleston students who were hospitalized just this weekend as a result of extreme intoxication. Utter disrespect for men like Tucker Hipps, a Clemson student whose body was found in a lake just two years ago after he drowned — allegedly as a result of hazing rituals while pledging for a fraternity. Utter disrespect for the one in four women nationwide who will be victims of sexual assault over the course of their college career.

These incidents are occurring across the country at a rate that we can not even track.

If you can voice your righteous indignation when a college student is given a light sentence for rape, then you can hold yourself to a higher standard on our campus. Expect more from not only our society and our legal system, but from yourselves and your friends — whether they be sisters or brothers. Be just as mad at the members of the Greek communities who have abused their privileges on our campus as you are at the members of other Greek communities who have committed similar offenses on other campuses.

Members of the CisternYard News staff have been told by their sorority chapter presidents not to contribute to the publishing of any article related to these recent events. What exactly does that say about our willingness to shed light on the severity of this issue? Yes, you should be embarrassed by your fellow Greek peers who are supporting illegal activity that ends in hospital visits. No, you should not be withholding important information from our campus community in order to save your own backs.

I am a sorority woman on this campus. I have been since first semester of my freshman year. My pledge class came into our sorority when it was already on social probation for our first semester. This meant no mixers, no “pledge kegs” and — god forbid — a “dry” semi-formal.

Not a single girl from our pledge class dropped because of it.

If you joined a sorority or fraternity on this campus strictly for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity then yes, maybe you should drop. But in a serious situation such as the one the College is finding itself in right now, there is no room for diminishing the harm done to others simply because you won’t be able to drink a beer while getting hit on by some guy in a Risky Business costume who can’t say a sentence without slurring his words.

We joined Greek organizations to make friends, to get involved in a brand new environment and to participate in philanthropic activities. Maybe we should be taking this time to get back to those roots. Maybe we can see this as an opportunity to form bonds over something other than mixed drinks.

Greek organizations on campus will be required to complete additional courses and workshops focused on drug and alcohol abuse, bystander intervention and the development of a Chapter Accountability plan before they are able to regain the right to have alcohol at Greek functions.

If not only for the College of Charleston students who reportedly spent the weekend laying in hospital beds because of alcoholism, but for the families of young college students like Hipps and so many others, and for the college men and women who faced and have been facing these issues across our country: Take this seriously. Don’t attend the meetings just because you have to, attend the meetings because it is our moral duty as human beings to do far better than we are doing.

Enough is enough.

3648 Total Views 3 Views Today
 

Leave a Reply