A year ago, this campus was still reeling – somewhat violently – from the sudden and preventable death of Samantha Spady, who has become famous across the nation for her inability to stop drinking – her suffering from a social disease that tears at the fabric of our generation.
And now, as the first anniversary of her death passes into the back of our minds, the lessons that were supposed to be learned, that people promised would be learned, seem to have fallen on deaf ears among members of the Greek community. A community that was unfairly scapegoated last year into making drastic – but desperately needed – changes to the drinking culture at CSU.
Eight Greek houses have been punished. One has lost CSU recognition. Already, the backpedaling has begun.
The binge drinking epidemic has taken no hit for the death of a young coed, it seems.
In a world where responsibility is hardly ever accepted at the collegiate level these days, President Larry Penley and the CSU administration has lowered the boom. But how have people taken to these drastic steps?
Jason Schneider, president of Pi Kappa Alpha, the house whose future at CSU appears to be over for the short term, told the Denver Post that "We are not going to fold. This will make us a stronger chapter even though CSU will not recognize our existence."
What right do you have to be recognized when you break the rules you agreed to?
After what this campus endured – not only locally but across the nation – the continued irresponsible drinking habits at Greek houses are simply unacceptable. It's time someone stepped up and took responsibility for those shortcomings of character.
But, like anything just in America, there deserves to be a review.
The administration at CSU should disclose what led them to punish the Greek houses to begin with. Simply saying there was drinking at the house is not enough. We deserve to understand what CSU believes happened, and what proof they have.
The accused houses deserve to have a public review. This should not be a publicity event, a three-ring discipline circus show for the local press. It should be serious, honest and straightforward.
If the proof exists, then the punishment fits the bill. This is not a time for second chances or excessive forgiveness; the problem is real, it has killed on the CSU campus. People seem to forget and forgive far too easily.
But the punishment handed out is not enough, yet.
Each house suspended should revoke membership permanently to any persons involved in the "Rise and Ralph" before they are allowed to be reinstated to Greek activities. Everything about college is a privilege, and if someone cannot abide by the rules set to help prevent tragedy, they don't deserve to partake in a Greek system.
The Pikes do not deserve to be recognized by CSU. After a string of insubordination and poor character judgments on the part of the house, they have lost the privilege of being a part of the CSU community. Their individual members can find a new group to belong to, and hopefully those who broke the rules will learn to take ownership of their mistakes and learn.
There is no line drawn in the sand here. The line was already there last year when the Greek community decided they wanted to change.
Now – justly and fairly – those who resist should have to pay the price for their irresponsibility.