Sunday, October 16, 2005

Potential Problem Exposed!

The Dark Side of the ShaftChristine looked tired in SciTech class one day. Before I could ask, she told me why. Part of East Campus was blocked off due to a bomb threat, which prevented her from taking her usual mid-day nap. Later that day I heard that the janitor that found one of the bombs was hospitalized. I said remember guessing it was a freshman, due to it being Fall semester, where many of them are first being introduced to the stressful environment that is Georgia Tech. This semester is also when many students take the first required chemistry class, giving them weekly access to chemicals.

Here’s the campus advisory e-mail sent to all students a couple days ago:
A Georgia Tech student has indicated his involvement in the Oct. 10
incident involving a crude bottle explosive found on east campus.
The incident was not in any way the work of a "terrorist" group.

The student turned himself in to Georgia Tech police the morning of Oct. 11 and confessed to his involvement. He's facing charges for possession of a destructive device (a felony under Georgia Law) and reckless conduct (a misdemenor under Georgia law).

The freshman engineering student has been temporarily suspended pending a student judiciary ruling.

Georgia Tech Police and the Atlanta Police Department are still investigating the incident. The contents and exact nature of the bottle explosives has not been determined and is still under investigation.
Don’t rightly know if the student in question was in danger of failing or if his stunt was caused by some other stress, but this brings light to a potential problem. This school fails loads of students, a good many of who are still smart people despite their academic performance. These students go from being all A’s and B’s students in high school to making C’s, D’s, and F’s when they come here. It’s a hard transition that has a decent chance of making reasonable people think unreasonably. It’s dangerous to piss off smart people.

MIT has one of the highest, if not the highest, suicide rates in the country. They saw this as a problem and attempted to fix this by changing all freshman level courses to pass/fail. This solution took did some to alleviate the stress over grades during a students introduction to college, effectively lowering the rate of suicide. I’m curious to see if GT even attempts a fix at this new problem. They could make freshmen take something other than chemistry their first semester, like physics. Or maybe the administration will be as oblivious as its always been.
Song of the Moment: “Shadow on the Sun” by Audioslave


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