This is the third time I have started this letter. In response to the tragic results of the IUPatty’s Day celebration I wanted to plead for those organizing the event to consider the safety of the citizens of Indiana and the students at IUP. But the more I thought about it I realized that this isn’t an isolated event and the accountability for this and other alcohol-related problems in Indiana could include far more than the irresponsibility of some IUP students.
Could it include those of us who did not speak out more vocally against borough council’s decision to loosen restrictions on open alcohol containers in town?
Could it include grocery stores that have chosen to increase profits by selling alcohol? (It has been reported that beer sales at local grocery stores and beverage distribution places have been booming lately. I am sure that the stores would simply say they only sell to customers over 21, perhaps not realizing that some of these customers could easily distribute to underage drinkers.)
Could it include the apathy of so many who don’t speak out against what alcohol abuse is doing to our town?
I feel terrible for those who were hurt this past weekend as a result of the IUPatty’s Day debacle. I feel bad for the overworked police, not to mention the unfair press that IUP and Indiana have received lately.
Our greatest concern should be for the future safety of our residents and IUP students. I would plead for the intelligent and caring people on the borough council and the administration of IUP to get together to keep our mutual communities safe from the excesses of alcohol abuse.
I hope and pray that a worse tragedy than what happened this past weekend doesn’t occur.
Timothy A. Johnson