Thurtene injuries can be prevented
This year, there have been a disturbing number of injuries among Greek members involved in the setup of Thurtene. It has already been confirmed that one member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity sliced off part of his own thumb with a power tool at approximately 4 a.m. on Friday. At the time of printing, Student Life has also received multiple unconfirmed reports of other injuries, many of them serious.
In the past, similar injuries have occurred on the Thurtene lot. Last year, a member of Pi Beta Phi fell from a two-story faâ€¡ade balcony and cracked her skull. Thankfully, after a trip to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, she was fine. Yet the conditions surrounding many of these injuries have given us cause for concern. Workers from Wash. U. fraternities and sororities labor day and night to build massive facades for their performances during Thurtene carnival. Many of these workers inevitably become sleep deprived, and this increases the likelihood of accidents. Though ambulances and EST can quickly respond to every emergency, a quick response to a disaster is not enough. Prevention is necessary.
Currently, groups are allowed to move onto the Thurtene lot at 6 a.m. on the Monday before Thurtene carnival, and they must leave by 7 a.m. on Saturday. They are allowed to work around the clock and usually, in order to complete their preparations, they must work every hour they are allotted. Because these hours include those in the middle of the night, sleep deprivation is common and accidents resulting from these conditions occur. The current plan allows 121 hours for the participants to finish their facades and other preparations for Thurtene.
A new plan, in which fraternities and sororities are only allowed to work a portion of the day, would promote less sleep deprivation, less carelessness, less stress and, consequently, fewer harmful accidents.
Those preparing for Thurtene should be allowed to move onto the lot the Friday before the week of preparation instead of the following Monday, and the permitted hours for work should be between 8 a.m. and midnight.
This plan would actually allow more hours for Thurtene preparations: with 16 hours a day for eight days, fraternity and sorority members would be able to get in 128 hours of work before the carnival begins as opposed to the current 121 hours. These hours would likely be more efficiently spent without the reins of physical and mental exhaustion and they would also be less likely to provoke the extreme conditions that have caused accidents this year and in years past. Additionally, this plan for limited hours and increased days will only occupy the parking lot in front of Brookings for one additional weekday, a negligible sacrifice for an increased level of safety.
To build such elaborate facades in such a short amount of time is intense enough; there is no need to exasperate the intensity by trying to cram it all into five full days. Spreading the Thurtene setup over eight days and limiting its hours is necessary if the injuries we have seen this year and in past years are to be prevented.
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