Editorial | TDC show displays need for accountability
Published: Monday, December 9, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 9, 2013 09:12
On Saturday, the Tufts Dance Collective’s (TDC) 9:30 p.m. show was halted by Tufts University Police Department just after intermission as a result of seven alcohol-related medical calls, an unsanitary environment and a few incidents of vandalism. Rumors abounded that TDC would go the way of the Naked Quad Run, Winter Bash and Fall Gala, given the university’s recent undertaking to reformat — or cancel altogether — campus-wide events due to unsafe alcohol abuse.
It is time the student body takes responsibility for and recognizes the seriousness of our actions, both individually and collectively. While TDC is as much a Tufts tradition as university-sponsored events like Fall Ball or Winter Bash were, the organization is entirely student operated. It is up to students to set standards and act in a way that reflects positively on both the group and its participants. Students are accountable for their actions, and those actions have consequences.
Alcohol is a real danger, and irresponsible drinking can lead to death. It shouldn’t take alcohol poisoning and broken bones to convince students that a change is necessary. Yet needing medical assistance from Tufts Emergency Medical Services for alcohol-related health risks (“getting TEMS’d”) has become so commonplace that students expect to see ambulances around campus on the weekends.
In response to the TDC show, the university can — and probably will — justifiably take some sort of action. While that action should not be an outright cancelation of the end-of-semester show, there should be a restructuring of the club and the culture around it, as there has been with other campus-wide events. If the administration does allow TDC to continue, the students involved need to take a step back to reflect on the group’s culture and role in the Tufts community.
Beyond that, as implied by the Good Samaritan policy, students should be looking out for their peers — not just in calling for help in life-threatening situations, but also in ensuring that the pressure to binge drink is less pervasive. Whether it is advising a friend not to have another drink or TDC’s choreographers ensuring the safety of their dancers, the group must fundamentally restructure their approaches to drinking and assume a level of accountability for their actions if they don’t want Saturday’s shutdown to have permanent consequences.
It now falls upon the students to protect themselves, each other and university traditions by staying smart. While the lasting results of what happened are yet to be determined, the facts of the matter still remain evident. It is our reaction to those facts that can “save” TDC.