In the administration’s attempt to end pledging as we know it, the Greek community at Cornell has now reaffirmed, with the ejection of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity, that medical amnesty applies only to violations associated with alcohol and drugs and not those associated with pledging. Until last fall, medi­cal amnesty had been the absolution a chapter receives for calling 9-1-1 in the case of a medical emergency.

The problem here is not whether the university should attempt to end pledging, which is an historic tra­dition and a valuable experience if done right. The problem now is that fraternities at Cornell, who actively engage in both pledging and drink­ing activities, must consider the im­mense pledging violations associat­ed with calling for help.

It seems easy to blame an indi­vidual fraternity’s leaders for stall­ing or not calling for medical assis­tance when a situation becomes so dire that professional medical help is the only option. But consider the all-too-common occurrence of indi­viduals, who have likely consumed a significant amount of alcohol at a “pre-game”, arriving at a fraternity’s house at a time where pledging vio­lations may be apparent. If those in­dividuals become sick, the President or other risk managers in the fra­ternity must determine if the situa­tion is so bad as to require medical assistance.

With the administration’s recent ruling, these risk managers will like­ly raise the bar for how sick some­one must be before they endanger their fraternity’s recognition by call­ing 9-1-1. This is exactly what the al­cohol medical amnesty policy was put in place to prevent. Without ap­plying the policy to all infractions, its purpose is negated.

Being an outsider looking into the Greek system at Cornell, it may seem silly for the President of a fraternity to delay calling for help in any situation. The issue is that the President of that fraternity, upon taking his position, becomes en­trusted with protecting and pro­longing an organization that may have existed on campus for over a hundred years and is responsible for answering to many dedicated alumni.

Regardless of the hazing vio­lations TEP may have been guilty on, the fraternity’s leaders made the correct judgment in calling for medical assistance. The Universi­ty, in response, repaid the fraternity by revoking its recognition. In Pres­ident Skorton’s attempt at ending fraternities as we know them, he has encouraged a system that endangers at least a third of the student popula­tion at Cornell.

Risk managers who must make judgment calls as to whether some­one needs medical assistance are al­ready under-qualified to do so, but are disincentivized from reaching out to capable professionals. I be­lieve the University must eliminate these deterrents and encourage fraternities to reach out for help re­gardless of the level of pledging vio­lations they may be involved in.

Until the administration makes amnesty universal for all types of in­fractions, fraternity members, and other Cornellians who may be at fra­ternity houses, will continue to be in danger.

Karim Lakhani is a junior in the School of Hotel Administration. He can be reached at kml248@cornell. edu.