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Krueger's Personal Responsibility

This is an awkward letter for me to write because this is a touchy subject, and I do feel very bad for the family and friends of Scott S. Krueger '01. But I also feel the need to share some thoughts on the topic and express my support for the Phi Gamma Delta brotherhood.

The impression I got from the articles I've read, whether in Newsweek, The Boston Globe, or The Tech, is that Scott Krueger's parents refuse to assign any responsibility to their son for what happened. They "criticized MIT for not making a formal apology," but MIT always gave Scott the option of living in a dormitory and never put a bottle of alcohol in his hand. If there is one sentence, one quote I would like to see in print and would even say directly to his parents, it's "Scott CHOSE to drink."

Krueger chose to live in Fiji - or any fraternity for that matter - and nobody held him down and poured beer and whiskey down his throat, at least not that I've heard. I know what some of my critics might say that peer pressure is a strong force and Krueger wanted to be a part of the house, but we are all from the "Just say no" generation, and we've all been sufficiently brainwashed that there is nothing wrong with saying no to peer pressure. Besides, as an 18-year-old member of the intellectual elite, I'd hope that Scott had enough maturity to make some of his own decisions but I might be wrong.

In my eyes, what happened was an accident. It could have happened in any number of fraternities and even in some dormitories on this campus or others. In fact, it has happened on others. This is less of an issue, but I feel like Krueger's parents especially feel that Fiji is some evil place that pushes all their pledges to drink until they are sick. Whether or not Fiji is any worse than the other fraternities on this campus is something I can't answer, but I can say this: In a few years, Krueger would have been the one buying whiskey and beer for the pledges and telling them to drink a "prescribed amount of alcohol."

Todd N. Chamoy '98