For a while I have thought our college to have a rather strange take on off campus events. To get things started here is an excerpt from the form we must fill out to attend an off campus event:
I am aware that travelling off campus can be a dangerous activity involving MANY RISKS OF INJURY. I understand that the dangers and risks of travelling off campus include, but are not limited to, death, serious neck and spinal injuries which may result in complete or partial paralysis, brain damage, serious injury to virtually all internal organs, serious injury to virtually all bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and other aspects of the muscular skeletal system, and serious injury or impairment to other aspects of my body, general health and well-being. I understand that the dangers and risks of travelling off campus may result not only in serious injury, but also in a serious impairment to my future abilities to earn a living, to engage in other business, social and recreational activities, and generally to enjoy life.
A cheery statement, yes? Well quite honestly… I think it is a bunch of rubbish. Basically it is saying “bad things can happen if you leave campus”. Honestly I already knew that and quite frankly just as many bad things could happen on campus.
Also what I find amusing about these documents is that they bother to list some of the possible badness that could happen to you. This makes little sense to me because you could never list everything. Quite frankly I’d expect to sign a form like this if I was going to go skydiving or rappelling not simply leaving campus.
Another thing that is interesting is that they are inconsistent with their policy. The college offers trips off campus to Walmart and the local mall as well as an amusement park that is near by. The funny part is that we don’t sign that form for trips like that. Even though they are clearly off campus, and the amusement park specifically would be quite “risky”.
Additionally, in college they are always saying how we are supposed to be maturing adults. Well, I think a mature adult needs to know when they feel safe and when they don’t. Also, they need to know when they want to leave campus and when not to. If the college tells us we are adults then they should let us act like ones. For instance, it is our responsibility to make sure we graduate and to make sure we schedule classes.
However, I know my college is not the only type of organization to issue such silly documents. Sadly I think it is a larger problem with the state of the legal system in America and more importantly Americans not taking responsibility for their actions. Don’t get me wrong, I really respect our nation, but lately the legal system has been getting out of hand. This is just one small example.
In terms of a solution, I honestly feel that people just need to take some personal responsibility. If you fall in to an uncovered man hole maybe you should own up to the fact that you weren’t watching where you were going. If you spill hot coffee on yourself maybe you should be more careful next time. If you get complete or partial paralysis while leaving campus then perhaps you should admit that your college was not in any way responsible for this accident.
This may sound like a rant or complaint, but truthfully it is more a lament about the state of “modern” society.