Over the weekend I had the extreme misfortune of reading about the death of Timothy Piazza, a Penn State student who fell down a flight of stairs after drinking way too much at a frat event.
Although badly injured his "brothers" did supposedly nothing to help, instead allegedly doing their best to cover up the fall and the extreme discomfort of the dying boy.
A horrendous story.
One that is repeated all over other campuses.
I pledged a frat back in 1984.
I never became a frat brother.
They wanted me to, but I flat-out quit after one of the guys who was to be a "brother" spit tobacco chew in my face because I didn't know his hometown.
It was actually a heroic effort on my part.
The new pledges - I think there were six of us - were called to a lineup where we were to answers questions about the members of the frat.
We were supposed to know everything about every brother including hometowns, mother's names, pet names...
The lineup started and was going well until a guy walked in the room wearing a coat that belonged to every member.
I never saw the guy before in my life. He walked straight to me.
"What's my name?" He shouted in my face.
I glanced at the jacket where his name was written out.
"Tom," I said.
"Tom what?" He screamed.
"Tom Petty?" I asked.
He spit in my face.
Now I knew that swinging at him would not end well, but I took a deep breath, turned away, walked up the stairs and out of the house. I was about a week away from being accepted as a full member.
I wasn't chased, but the president of the frat (a really good guy) caught up with me.
"Come on back," he said. "We really want you to join."
"Done!" I said.
The president followed me back to the dorm. We talked for awhile, but I explained to him that I could not understand why I would do such a thing. I didn't want to ever be friends with a guy who might do such a thing. I didn't need such bullshit.
I never went back either.
I heard horror stories about hell night. I saw guys so intoxicated that I worried for their health...and I was no choir boy...
...but I knew when something was horribly wrong or simply stupid.
A lot of kids don't.
Timothy Piazza should've been saved.
What a waste.
All for bullshit.
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