The death of University student Germain Vigeant has inflicted feelings of sadness across the entire University community. It also has left many questions. Most importantly, Why did something so horrible have to happen to open eyes to the dangers the grain elevator presented? What could have been done by different groups to prevent this disaster? Who is to blame, if anyone?
Although the area around the grain elevator is posted with signs warning of no trespassing and danger, the Southeast Como Improvement Association has been aware of its security problems for the past year. Many residents of Southeast Como and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods think of the building as a great concern in their communities. Bunge North America, which owns the building, claims that it keeps check on the building with employee visits and an undisclosed method of security.
Whether the security is in the form of patrols or cameras, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for the neighborhood associations to be aware of the problems concerning the elevator’s security or to formally ask Bunge to improve the situation. Neither of the groups can be targeted with the blame of the disastrous incident that happened this weekend.
Also on many minds are questions of the University’s place to address these types of incidents even though they occur off-campus. Obviously, the University is not responsible for this incident. However, it should consider furthering its involvement regarding it. The incident did directly involve University students, and the University has said little about it. The University might not have been aware that students frequented the elevator. However, it now is apparent and the University should encourage its students to take a more responsible role in their neighborhoods. The lack of community between the University and its surrounding neighborhoods can be blamed. The strings of community must be tightened.