October 20, 1997 in Nation/World

Sober Up, WSU

By The Spokesman-Review
 

“National Lampoon’s Animal House” works well - on the big screen, where generations of high school and college students propelled it to being the top comedy ever.

But it doesn’t work well in reality.

John Belushi, for example, amused us in his role as pledgemaster Bluto. But his death from a drug overdose was anything but funny.

Life imitates art poorly.

At Washington State University, the Beta Theta Pi fraternity lost its charter last week because its members emulated Bluto, Boon and other Animal House characters. They drank. They tore up their building. They flunked. The national Beta organization deserves credit for giving these slackers a dose of reality by pulling their charter.

It did WSU a favor, too.

WSU is known as a party school. That worries parents who sacrifice to pay for a college education. And it troubles taxpayers who subsidize the university.

Most parents don’t want to send their children off to a university that tolerates wild fraternities. They’ve read about recent drinking deaths of pledges at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Louisiana State University. They recall the Spokane woman who was paralyzed in a 1993 fall after drinking at two University of Idaho fraternities, including the UI Betas “50 Ways to Lose Your Liver” party.

So, let the Betas cry in their beer as they look for new places to live. If they’re wise, and we’re not holding our breath here, they’ll learn from this lesson. If not, WSU is better off without them.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = D.F. Oliveria/For the editorial board


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