Collins is a sophomore English major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Omega Psi Phi claims that “Friendship is Essential to the Soul.” That motto will never matter more than it will to those Q’s who will need to rely on their brotherhood to overcome the tragedy at Youngstown State University this weekend. Initially asked to leave the fraternity after starting a fight over one of the female students, two gunmen opened fire on the straggling party-goers early Sunday morning. So, could it happen here?
An average Saturday night, a party on Greek Street and two guys with a tendency toward violence, whether there were more factors or not, (I’d be willing to bet there were) I couldn’t say, but what I know is that, based on the facts given to us in the media, the situation at Youngstown sounds like it could happen at any university, anywhere.
It’s hard to walk through campus or go out on the weekends without hearing a wise crack about how “ghetto” the area around Drake University is–and for good reason. I’ve never worried about my safety more than when the rapes happened near campus last year, or when shots were fired at a Laundromat only a short walk from one of the most popular bars on campus. It’s easy to brush off the fear that accompanies those incidents. “Oh, it won’t happen to me.” “That’s totally unrealistic.” “You’re just freaking yourself out.” But, in truth, it’s entirely possible that the events at Youngstown could be possible at Drake.
The best cure for fear is supposed to be knowledge, so here’s what I’m saying: Let’s figure out how to be safer and actually put it into action. Let’s follow the rules we tell our friends and ourselves every weekend. Don’t ever walk alone on campus. Don’t talk to people you don’t know. Don’t ever accept a drink if you didn’t see it poured or you don’t know where it came from. (Sorority girls, you can manage to pump a keg. C’mon and show off those muscles that you log so many Greeks in the Gym hours to get.) If you don’t know how much vodka those frat guys put in the jungle juice, don’t drink it. If you ever hear the words “riot punch,” run. While you might have your tolerance down to a science, mixed drinks can be easy to drink too much of…way too much of.
If you don’t drink, you aren’t out of the woods. Chances are not every one of those students at Youngstown had been partying that night. Maybe they had just come home from a date, the library or a midnight movie. While the events there were probably unavoidable, other dangerous situations can be avoided in our own houses and it’s our responsibility to make sure that happens.
Keep throwing raging after-hours. Make the trek from Dublin to the Library. Keep trying to convince yourself that the new Four Loko really is as good as the old one. I’m not saying to change your habits. I’m just saying to be smart and safe. Also, remember that no girl is worth it. Not even a sorority girl.