Today is a very sad day at LSU. It is a sad day for Matthew Naquin and his family, and it is a day to remember the loss of Max Gruver.
Some are celebrating the five-year maximum prison sentence of Naquin (with three years probation) and 1,000 hours of community service work. They feel like it is a step toward ending hazing.
I do not disagree with this, but I think Naquin’s sentence only addresses part of the problem.
I agree with awareness education aimed at students. It is imperative students learn binge drinking is incredibly dangerous and alcohol is not a joke. It is not lesser than drugs, something you can just sleep off. It can kill. Students must also feel empowered to change a situation and save a life.
I wish, however, we were spending as much time dealing with the fact that Gruver was not the only young man who participated in the risky behavior that night or on any given night for that matter.
I wish we were investing just as much time in understanding the psychological differences in students who refuse to join a Greek organization simply because there is a possibility they may be forced into a hazing situation and students who allow themselves to be humiliated, physically and emotionally attacked and brought to the brink of death by excessive alcohol consumption, etc.
This is indeed a sad day. I hope we can look at this problem from every angle that could keep it from happening again.