link to www.gazettetimes.com
I agree with the comment that this frat should be banned from campus. Guns 'securely locked up.' If I were still a student and at this university I would not let this continue. This guy is a jerk and needs to be told so to his face.
As I see it
By JOE ALVERNAZ
Football coaching legend Bear Bryant once said, "When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it and don't repeat it." That's what the Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) fraternity is doing in the wake of the shooting of a homeless man this fall.
However, it is unfair for the Gazette-Times (article, Dec. 10, "Frat house had an arsenal") to condemn our entire organization over the actions of one young man. The suspect has been expelled from the house and is facing criminal charges. Not only has AGR fully cooperated with police, we've now made our firearms policy much stricter, with severe penalties for leaving firearms unsecured.
The Gazette-Times was off-base in suggesting that lawful gun ownership on private property by some of our members is a "recipe for future trouble" and comparable to shootings at high schools. We're talking about adults, old enough to be sent into military combat.
As stated on our Web site, the purpose of AGR is to "take young men and turn them into individuals of character and integrity." To that end, we learn by the mistakes of others.
In response to this incident, we have agreed to host a series of meetings with several other fraternities to increase awareness about homelessness and hunger. Ironically, sustainable agriculture and food science are among the main fields of study for our members. Our extensive charitable work with Heifer International helps address starvation in Third World countries.
It is unfortunate that fraternities always get stereotyped as a bunch of party animals. In reality, our chapter has received national recognition for our scholarship program. The average GPA of those in our house is above 3.0.
On average, each of our members contributes 60 hours to community service every term, ranging from Future Farmers of America youth leadership projects to delivering pumpkins to children's hospitals.
Let's not let one negative event tarnish the good reputation of an entire institution. We're dealing with the consequences and hope to be a stronger organization in the long run because we won't let this same mistake be repeated.
Joe Alvernaz is the Alpha Beta Chapter alumni president of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity at Oregon State University.
comment: Joe, I appreciate the time you took to send this response. Unfortunately, I don't believe you. These kinds of things do not happen in a vacuum. The person in question has been expelled from the frat, but my question is, how many OTHERS should be? The idea of 1 member of the frat doing this is isolation is absurd. And frankly, a fraternity is no place for firearms. Period. You say the members are adults. Well, mature and responsible adults do not take potshots at guys looking for cans. And neither do members of the military. Immature and irresponsible 'frat boys' do. The idea that all firearms will be 'secured' does very little to alleviate my impression of your fraternity as anything other than a bunch of over-privileged, would-be criminals. You mention 'one negative event.' To my understanding, this was not exactly an isolated incident. I do not feel you are being honest with readers or yourself. If this is your idea of an 'apology', here's a tip - say I'M SORRY. You say 'you agreed to host a series of events.' You didn't even SUGGEST it, you simply agreed to it. I am not impressed. You made your bed with these atrocious actions. Time to lay in it. I think the frat should be barred from campus indefinitely. Sincerely, Eric Diamatto Albany