Keeping watch on our peers

A freshman boy in Harris didn’t make it back until spring semester. His stuff is gone and his roommate probably now shares the other half of their shoebox dorm with a kid from Massachusetts. He fell into an unfortunate- but not altogether uncommon- freshman trap: he didn’t spend enough time sober and in class.College is an exciting place outside the previous comforts of family, but sometimes it’s also a terribly cutthroat place. In college, on your own, it’s up to you to go to class, get involved and regulate your own party habits. And that’s the way it should be. Still, I can’t help but feel as though the institution itself failed him, that he’s not the only one to blame for thefact that he isn’t eating at the Grundle daily anymore. A Bob Dylan song, “Who Killed Davey Moore?” attempts to assign the blame for the death of the late famous boxer, Davey Moore. Is it the fault of the referee who didn’t step in? Or the manager who profits from the sport? Or the opponent, whose job it was to swing and hit, and ultimately kill? Each player in the story maintains that the fault was not 100 percent theirs, therefore, they are not to blame at all.But isn’t this case the same? It’s clear that he made personal, informed decisions to skip class, blow off assignments and abuse drugs. Maybeit’s all his own fault. Or is it the fault of his RA, who could have stepped in and offered more support as a friend and not as a policing force?Or is it the fault of his professors for not recognizing all of the signs, specifically his TAP professor, who shouldhave gotten to know him better? Or is it the fault of the Sodexho employees who probably noted his bloodshot eyes and slurred speech but served him anyway?Or is it the fault of his roommate, a peer, who saw him day to day?Or is it my fault, as a family friend, for not calling him during first semester more? Where did the institution fail?This is not to say that cases of this don’t happen everyday- a portion of freshman don’t even make it to Thanksgiving, let alone winter break. But that doesn’t make it right.The University should not have the attitude of “well, he didn’t take care of himself and he didn’t make it.”Just like in the Dylan tune, we can’t all relinquish responsibility. We all could have acted, and if we all notice the signature tailspin of a drugged-up freshman in the future, we all should act.