A letter from a reader: Residential advisers and alcohol infractions

July 16, 2008:

I talked to my son, a Northwestern University graduate currently in Chicago, June 20. It was graduation day, a traditional time to celebrate, but there were memorials all around campus mourning a freshman who died of alcohol poisoning earlier that same week. My son's comments are echoed in The Daily Northwestern's online discussion on the tragedy, pointing a finger of partial blame at University policies requiring resident advisers to report underage alcohol infractions for disciplinary action. By the time that freshman's friends were fearful enough to call for medical help, it was too late. I fervently hope that Princeton's final alcohol policy (Notebook, June 11) does not place the RA in such an adversarial role. (I also hope that should, heaven forfend, a similar tragedy occur at Princeton, the first official statement will not include language distancing the University from any responsibility for it.)

Centennial, Colo.

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