Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education Rosalind Williams has commented on the ABC 20/20 program on Scott Krueger, a 16-minute story that was aired on January 17.
"The ABC 20/20 broadcast on January 17 about the tragic death of Scott Krueger has reminded a wide audience of the dangers of dangerous drinking, a national problem that has taken the lives of more than 30 college students in the past year," she said. "This problem needs attention throughout the nation, from the liquor industry and local communities to colleges, high schools, students and parents.
"We have taken this problem seriously at MIT. Life here has changed significantly since Scott's death. MIT students, faculty and staff are working vigorously to decrease dangerous drinking at MIT, where the rate of binge drinking -- 23 percent -- is half the national average of 43 percent, but still too high. MIT has also made fundamental changes in its housing policies. Beginning in September 2001, all freshmen will be housed in residence halls, including a new hall now being designed. MIT has always guaranteed dormitory housing for any freshman who wants it.
"The ABC program reminds us of two important perspectives. First, those of us at MIT have to remember that our view of the Institute isnot the only one; what we do may look quite different to the world outside than it looks to us on the inside. Second, and most important, 20/20 puts a human face on a national problem. It reminds us of the family's grief that will never go away. We at MIT need to do all we can to ensure that no other family has to endure such suffering."
The MIT News Office web site includes a page with more information on what MIT has done to curb alcohol abuse.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 27, 1999.