When I went bowling at Rack and Roll with a friend, I was required to reserve a lane for each of us. Fair enough; it’s a strenuous activity. What’s more surprising is that the pool tables are also restricted to a single player (which is great if you want to win every round). That may be trivial, but it represents a serious systemic problem: Our administration micromanages the Protect Purdue Plan so obsessively that they think keeping two cues from touching the same ball is worth the third part of a business’ revenue.

As philanthropy chair of Psi Upsilon Fraternity at Purdue, my job is to rebuild our on-campus philanthropy program after the pandemic. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention being our charity of choice, the stakes are literally life and death.

Yet we are drowning in red tape. We have to obtain clearance through SAO for every minor detail of every chapter event, public or internal, at least two weeks in advance, which means we can’t adjust our plans when we need to. Huge legacy chapters may be able to keep up with the bureaucracy just fine, but small startup organizations like mine are struggling to remain relevant. Even virtual events have to be approved (Do you have a permit for that Discord call?), which makes it maddeningly apparent that this has little to do with disease control and more to do with control per se.

We all want to protect Purdue. I’m happy to reserve a space, wear a mask, enforce physical distancing, and use gloves to hand out single-serving food packets while tabling. But I resent telling SAO which street corner I’ll be tabling on two weeks from now while our president asks permission to hold an online recruitment meeting. All I’m asking for is common sense.

— Max Hess, freshman in the College of Engineering

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