Friday, February 8, 2008

[Corvallis] In Which a Fraternity Fails, Again

From the Daily Barometer:

Fraternities and sororities in the area experience a much greater presence of transient individuals on their properties than most other homeowers in Corvallis. This may be because of the large amount of waste that is produced by living groups and their difficulty with maintaining secure buildings.

The Chi Phi fraternity has experienced problems with having the new homeless shelter across the street.

"We have always had an average amount of homeless people going through our dumpster, looking in our cars and even breaking into the basement to sleep on the couch or going upstairs to take food from our kitchen," said Timothy Zumwalt, a sophomore in Chi Phi majoring in business administration.

"Now it seems like there is always a group of two or three homeless guys hanging around our dumpster, and we have to pay extra attention to our seating areas outside because we have found homeless people drinking or sleeping out there," Zumwalt said.

The fraternity took action by having Capt. Daniel Hendrickson of the Corvallis Police Department visit their house and share some advice on how to prevent and handle any situations that may arise.

Don't you love the unspoken assumption that the people involved are dirty, don't belong, and need to go away? It's almost like they're not even people to the frat members...

While I understand that there may be "situations" in this context, I wonder if it ever occurred to the frat that there is another option besides driving people away? Have they considered actually making useful space for people in need? Providing support (perhaps conditionally based on it not being abused) in terms of a covered place to sleep or even some food? What about - I don't know - cleaning their fracking frat houses up?

I am repulsed by Mr. Zumwalt's comments: Like, can you believe that they want to eat our food?! Why don't they just go get their own? McDonald's is open, like, 24 hours!


It's such a lost opportunity for some compassion (and, to be perfectly cynical, a huge PR boost to the frat). It seems very shortsighted and reactionary.


IE said...

OK...wasn't there a frat student who actually shot at a homeless person around a dumpster about a year ago? Pretty sure I'm recalling this. Pretty sad, to say the least.

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