Police investigate W.I.L.D. accidents
This fall’s W.I.L.D. ended with the highest number of student injuries than any other in recent memory—and more serious ones than ever before—leading to concern from administrators.
The Washington University Police Department had a record number of 14 injuries called in, which does not include all of the calls to which EST responded.
“I’ve been through probably 20 W.I.L.D.s, and listening to how our calls were being put out and the number of calls, this was [an] unacceptably high number of calls we were getting for alcohol intoxication in that time period,” Chief of Police Don Strom said.
Stephanie Higgins, a junior and the director of EST, also said that this was the most calls they had received since she began working for EST.
The actual number of injury-related calls was not released to Student Life.
“I’m sure the number is higher than that  and closer to 20,” Strom said.
Of the 14 calls WUPD has recorded, half were for freshmen.
For administrators, the most disconcerting statistic is that three students were transported to the hospital.
“Those alcohol-related incidents are very disturbing,” Strom said. “It’s been a long time since I recall three students being transported in the course of an evening.”
One of the students sent to the hospital ran into the clock tower, sustaining serious head injuries. Officials were afraid that these head injuries, combined with alcohol, could potentially lead to a permanent condition.
The student was back in classes this week, but for a few days, officials were unsure of his recovery prognosis.
When the police and EST arrived at the scene, the student listed several locations, including the Sigma Chi house, as recently visited. These locations were investigated, and multiple police officers entered the Sigma Chi house, looking for signs of distributing alcohol to minors.
Though they did find evidence and an investigation is ongoing, Strom said that WUPD is unlikely to press charges on their findings thus far.
“Since it does not appear that there were long-term implications for the student, I think it’s unlikely that that’s going to become any sort of a criminal charge,” Strom said. “I think it will be handled internally.”
In any alcohol-related incident, safety is a first priority.
“Even more than the age issue is [if] you’re delivering alcohol to people who are clearly impaired and shouldn’t be getting alcohol in the first place,” Strom said.