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Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Perspective on blame after a tragedy

Shouldn’t the person committing the crime be blamed? Or is it more complicated?

At risk of sounding unpopular, I would like to take a different angle to the tragic death of Germain Vigeant. I am not sure why there is public outcry to blame Bunge North America or the University for this loss. I sympathize completely with the family and friends of Vigeant, but the real blame needs to be pinned directly on her. 

I ride by the Bunge elevator all the time on my bike, and I can tell you just by looking at it that it isn’t someplace I should be hanging around. People argue that the trespassing signs are covered by graffiti; therefore they should be able to ignore them.

With this being the case, they scale the fence or squeeze through the gate to access a place they don’t belong at. Educated adults, who an 18-year-old college student should be, should know to avoid a place that they don’t belong at. I would say Vigeant was a little too old to use the excuse “I didn’t know better.”

Trespassing is a crime, whether it is posted or not. I also like to believe that Bunge isn’t responsible for added security.

They have a fence surrounding the complex, do they really need more? If you are walking by a fenced-in house, do you hop the fence to play on the swing set?

No, because you know you aren’t allowed there. The owner of the house doesn’t need to sit on his porch holding a shotgun.

If anything, maybe Bunge needs to line the top of the fence with barbed wire, but that should be the extent of their security responsibilities.

When tragedy occurs, society shouldn’t be quick to blame people or corporations that don’t have control of the situation. Blame should be placed solely on the individuals who committed the act that led to the tragedy.

Clearly, neither Bunge nor the University was in a position to prevent this act. Neither organization could have prevented this tragedy

completely, no matter what kind of security was implemented. The only person who had complete control of the situation was the young girl whose life tragically ended.

Reed Prust is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected].

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