Newly appointed Rainbow Center director Brian Edwards delivered a lecture Wednesday focusing on how LGBTQ resources at colleges create safer and more welcoming campuses.
To the Editor:
Regarding the death of Jeffny Pally (Hartford Courant releases Jeffny Pally death video, Daily Campus reports Sept. 20, 2017), there is an aspect of the case that the Courant article does not explore, namely, that Pally was not just a UConn student, but she was also a UConn employee on Special Payroll who worked as a Resident Assistant. Such carefully- selected staff live with students in dorms, specifically to safeguard their well-being and to enforce all federal, state and local laws, as well as the UConn Student Code.
By engaging in drinking, Pally broke multiple laws that she was entrusted by virtue of her employment with UConn to enforce. She specifically violated UConn Student Code Part III items: 5) Endangering Behavior, conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person including one's self; 7) Misuse of alcohol and/or other drugs; and 10) Interference with firefighting equipment or personnel.
Had Pally been seen severely drunk in her dorm, she would have been reported, her job would have been reviewed and she probably would have been terminated. This consideration is likely the reason why, to quote the Hartford Courant article, she "veered off " and did not enter her dorm after being dropped off there.
Ultimately, it was Jeffny's choice to drink. This was a case of severe alcohol abuse, not just by a student, but by a staff member. As a trusted employee of UConn, she knew better. Had she not violated that trust, she would be alive today. Instead of facing this truth, her family has chosen to blame everyone else that they possibly can. Perhaps, to prevent future incidents, there should be more stringent screening for the Resident Assistant positions, including drug and alcohol testing both prior to and during employment. In any case, these factors should all be considered in any fair legal evaluation and determination of who is truly at fault in Jeffny Pally's death.
Lisa P. Rimland
UConn Class of 1978
Storrs Mansfield, CT