Friday, April 16, 2004

Sorority update
Christie Key, the sorority secretary who ordered her sisters to lie about their health if necessary to give blood and win a contest, has apologised. Her letter to the University of Missouri and the American Red Cross says she "failed to consider the consequences of [her] actions in suggesting that members lie about important health issues in order to earn points for our chapter." The University and Red Cross have no comments on Key's apology.

This must be a nightmare for the Red Cross. Ever since the advent of AIDS they have struggled (not always successfully) to secure the safety of our blood supply. The PR problems of maintaining the public's confidence has at times been harder than the physical problems involved. Even though they are quick to assure us that they test all of the blood and keep careful records of every unit, something like this is a major setback for them.

The University and the national office of the sorority are still deliberating what to do about Christie Key. The AP story says everything from a letter of reprimand to expulsion is on the table from the university disciplinary committee. I'm sure criminal charges are possible, if the authorities are so inclined. If Key really wants to do penance, she should offer to volunteer with the Red Cross, of her own free will, before she is forced to as punishment. Who knows, this whole mess might make her a better person.

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