Thank you for your comments SMU Dad. His experience in attempting to raise awareness on the issue demonstrates the challenges in working towards effective change. The biggest challenge is that most do not become involved until directly affected. Thankfully, more individuals such as SMU Dad are not waiting until it’s too late.
In reading about the tragedies across the country, one gets the impression that the lives lost are viewed as collateral damage. That out of control drinking is a given at college campuses and the culture is too ingrain for change to be possible. However, policymakers as high as the US Congress have recognized that change is necessary. The good news is that those who wish to effect change do not need to lobby for an effective federal statute. There has been such a law since 1989 (see federal law section of CompelledToAct.com) with the most significant sanctions possible, loss of federal funding. However, the law has not been enforced.
Individuals such as SMU Dad need to show college administrators that the law is no longer a secret. Parents know about the law and they demand that colleges and universities comply, or US Department of Education may be asked to investigate why compliance is not effective in changing campus attitudes and practices.
The indictments of the Rider University administrators is also a powerful message to college officials. A link to the news story is at CompelledtoAct\Tragic_listing\Main_listing_victims.htm . Join SMU Dad is attempting to make everyone aware of these developments.
Today is two and a half years since Kristine lost her life. Issues related to her fate are still unresolved. Campus life at Paul Smith’s College moved forward so that two more students lost their lives in May 2007 under circumstances strikingly similar to may daughter’s tragedy in 2005. Unless we who are directly affected by these losses press on, all of these deaths will be continued to be viewed as collateral damage.