Photo by Christopher Stadler / flickr CC BY 2.0 (edited)
The Penn Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) is one of several ways for students to make a tangible impact on campus. Members spend many nights volunteering to ensure the safety of others on campus. Recently, MERT inducted its new class of volunteers; however, much to his disappointment, freshman David Rodriguez (C ’21) did not make the cut.
Instead, Rodriguez, a pre-med student, decided to take matters into his own hands: he created a vigilante emergency response group, and vowed to beat MERT at its own game.
When we talked to Rodriguez about MERT’s decision, he seemed rather vexed. “It really hurts not to make it. I know I probably blacked out every other night during NSO and they remembered me from that, but I think it’s ridiculous to reject me on those grounds. To be successful in the medical field, you really have to understand and know your patient, and that’s exactly what I did! I showed my passion and put myself in the patients’ shoes, time and time again.”
“That kid is an animal – who in their right mind would seek help from him?” MERT Captain Justin Rogers (C ’18) told us. “Perhaps he can put this effort into dirty-rushing some fraternity.”
Rodriguez now roams around campus on Friday and Saturday nights in a Batman mask and cape, looking to help any innocent partygoers who went a little overboard in their pursuits of a wholesome night. A UTB reporter followed Rodriguez to a frat party where he had "heard cries for help," only to watch him get turned away by a brother at the door for having a "bizarre" costume and an “inexcusable” ratio.