The members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon made a mistake – one that appears to be very easy to make: An underage girl allegedly drank way too much at the SAE house.
How big of a deal a mistake can be depends on the context. Here, at CSU, booze binges at Greek houses have caused considerable problems in recent years. That’s why all Greeks have agreed to live in dry houses.
Last year, Pi Kappa Alpha lost its university recognition for hosting “rise-and-ralph” parties. The year before, sophomore Samantha Spady died of alcohol poisoning in an empty room of the Sigma Pi house, which has since disbanded.
And imagine if the unnamed 17-year-old girl who nearly drank herself to death in the SAE house had simply wandered, unnoticed, into an empty room. We may have found ourselves the midst of another tragedy.
We stand by our coverage. We do not believe reporting that the girl downed 12 shots within an hour is sensationalism – rather, we believe it’s responsible journalism.
As the story goes, she didn’t know what kind of an impact 12 shots of hard liquor would have on her. Evidently, those feeding her the booze didn’t have much of a clue, either.
So if any story that interests people enough to make them gasp and chatter constitutes sensationalism, then we’re guilty. If pretending that bad things do not happen (or downplaying them when they do) constitutes responsible journalism, then call us yellow journalists or worse.
The way we see it, if this story’s morals are remembered and passed on, then something good may have come from SAE’s mistake.