Fraternity lapse should signal its end

Kernel Editorial Board

Nothing good happens after midnight. A few bad apples can ruin things for everyone.

Those cliches are uttered on an everyday basis, but one week before this campus went on Spring Break, they both hit home after an incident at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house Friday, March 5. According to the police report, a student wrapped in toilet paper was lit on fire early Saturday morning.

Even in a world where college kids’ pranks become even more elaborated (no doubt fueled by the stunts they see on MTV), when was lighting someone on fire ever considered funny?

Answer: Never.

Whether or not it was a few out-of-control SAE members who may or may not have caused this, or whether the whole fraternity is at fault, the response is just as simple: Whatever happens on property adorned with Greek letters is the responsibility of the entire organization. And anyone that’s part of an organization represents the whole overall group, regardless of where that person is.

Simply put, the incident falls on the shoulders of the UK chapter of SAE.

Take the Kernel for example.

Last year, a Kernel staff photographer and the photography adviser were arrested during the Republican National Convention. These photographers were not on assignment for the Kernel, but because they were current staff members of Kernel, the newspaper was asked to atone for the two photographers. SAE has the same responsibility.

Since the incident occurred at the house, and the culprits are an SAE members, the blame doesn’t lie solely on individuals. The gross oversight that allowed this type of culture to even surface is to blame.

This is not a bashing of Greeks or the Greek system. Through events like DanceBlue (which, ironically, was ongoing during this incident), the Greeks on this campus give back to the community and university. The SAE incident isn’t an overarching condemnation of Greeks at UK.

It is, of course, a condemnation of the reckless attitude one fraternity exercised, and for that reason, UK should suspend SAE from campus for a finite period of time and all leadership be expelled from the fraternity.

If the same situation happened in a dorm, the resident adviser in charge would be fired, the students expelled and the dorm supervisor would probably lose their job as well. SAE deserves the same fate.

It only takes a few bad apples. So let’s rid both the Greek system and the university of them.