Pity poor San Diego State University, that deluded institution whose squeaky-clean image of itself could only come through a set of beer goggles.
The school is the foggy Aunt Sherry of the higher-learning family, sitting at the Thanksgiving table in her paper rehab gown and muttering that she's much better now and can be trusted to carve the turkey. She just can't understand why everyone else at the table is taking a wait-and-see approach and insisting trust is something that is earned. If she can just go 12 straight months without federal agents and campus cops arresting 96 of her children on drug and weapons charges, then maybe they'll let her handle sharp objects again. Until then, they say, “Just shut up and eat your Jell-O salad.”
For SDSU officials, even the May 6 drug raids weren't enough to break through their profound sense of denial. The extent of that denial can be seen in an Aug. 20 Associated Press story, which noted that 77 of the 96 students and others arrested were referred to the District Attorney for prosecution.
“It really was only a small number of kids involved, but, regardless, drugs are a scourge in the community,” AP quotes Doug Case, the school's fraternity and sorority coordinator, as saying. “In the process of weeding it out, it got a lot of attention, and people may have come to the wrong conclusion that it's rampant here.”
Well, maybe. Or maybe they'd come to the apparently correct conclusion, which is that only at SDSU would 77 criminal defendants be considered “a small number of kids.” Or that only at SDSU would officials perceive drug use among students the same way after a federal raid as they did before, which is that the university doesn't have a “drug problem” so much as it has “an image problem.”
What else but “cosmetic” can you call the university's response to the raids, which was to temporarily suspend the Theta Chi and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapters, ban alcohol at the Greek houses for the first five weeks of the school year and require rush pledges to take an online quiz? To be fair, the five-week ban is four weeks longer than its “no booze during Rush Week” prohibition, and the online quiz is really more of a PowerPoint presentation.
“It basically provides an overview of policies that affect Greek members,” Kim Stokely, the school's assistant coordinator for fraternity and sorority life, tells CityBeat. “It provides information on alcohol and drug abuse, hazing awareness and the university's judicial policies. The quiz asks questions on things like the signs of alcohol poisoning.”That should put a dent in the problem, particularly since Greek members represent a full 10 percent of the student body. Still, I'd like to suggest some questions of my own, which might better reflect the realities of the university's drug situation:How many rails can four tweakers split from a standard “G”? a) 3b) 10c) Depends on whether one of the tweakers is a fiendJustin and Jason hook up with Emily and Tiffany Friday night at Whiskey Girl. Justin and Emily share a tab of E, and leave the bar heading west at 75 mph. Jason and Tiffany decide not to drop E, and they leave the bar heading east at 80 mph. Who “gets some” first?
a) Justin and Emilyb) Jason and Tiffanyc) Neither couple: Jason and Tiffany got busted at a checkpoint (they were loaded even without the E), while Justin and Emily wrapped their car around a telephone pole“Bogart” is to “joint” what ___ is to ___:
a) “Lauren” is to “Bacall”b) “Golf” is to “Basketball”c) “Baby sit” is to “Chron-Chron”Answers: C, C, C. If you answered one or two of these questions correctly, perhaps SDSU isn't for you. If you've answered three correctly, consider joining Theta Chi.