I’ve listened to individuals around me state that this ‘hazing’ has got to stop. Hazing wasn’t the reason for the turn of events in the death of Timothy Piazza. It was the catalyst, however, what actually caused the death was these eight young men who thought they could ‘beat’ the system and cover up their obnoxious and callous behavior by attempting to ignore the fact that a fellow ‘human’ was dying. They didn’t want to get the ER or the Police involved because they would get in trouble….yes, they would have….but not nearly as much trouble as they are certainly in now.
Two (2) of these individuals are from Chester County, Pennsylvania....where I grew up....one from Malvern, PA and one from Downingtown, PA. I think a good deal of the parents who lost a son and my heart goes out to them but I also spend time thinking of the parents who raised these immature, insensitive individuals who sat/stood by in their own drunkenness (but not drunk enough to shy away from sending texts to each other during the cover up) and watched this fellow ‘human’ die. Do these parents feel that they have any contribution to the lack of responsibility that their child displayed or are they going to take that ‘low’ road and blame it on the ‘system’ and lament that their child’s future is ‘over’ because of one (1) mistake? Or are they going to bring a law suit against Penn State University because Penn State permitted the ‘residency’ culture that ‘spawned’ this behavior? Or will they own up to the fact that they could have done a better 'job' at the only 'job' worth having in life?
The culture of Centre County, Pennsylvania, State College, Pennsylvania and Penn State University are all intertwined in one big, ugly, entitled web. I feel bad for the members of academia at Penn State that cannot abide the ‘football’ mentality but believe that someday in some way, things will change. I don’t even know if it is the ‘average’ member of the community; I believe not, but I know enough members of the State College community that have nothing to do with the University other than work or have a business in the town who are pathetically driven by the successes of the Penn State sport teams and the culture of the Greek life.
The Sandusky scandal ‘tore’ the community into splinter groups….everyone had an opinion and half of the people defend Joe Paterno to this day. Many individuals still believe that he was right and nothing he did was justification for his treatment. From the President of a local business association who felt entitled to ‘whore’ to get marketers to support his organization to the average citizen who still places photos of Joe Paterno and the Penn State lion on his facebook page, there is a sense of entitlement that transgresses gender, age and genre which is so strong it is perverse….and I know for a fact it continues to this day.
The Greek organizations in this country need to do something regarding their residency and the entire concept of pledging/hazing….and maybe it is not just the Greek’s….I know firsthand that college athletic teams have the same type of rituals…the difference being that in the end, the college athletic team has to answer to a ‘coach’; the normal fraternity/sorority is run by a group of 18 through 21 year olds that haven’t a clue as to how to make life decisions and they are ultimately making life decisions for individuals other than themselves….hence, the death of Timothy Piazzi. We want to help these young men/women make decisions earlier in life that will prevent them from ‘whoring’ (or being proud of their ‘whoring’) let alone being involved in any form of manslaughter.
This comes with a price: More control or input on ethics at home; more maturity from the parents; more involvement from the parents prior to or during the entire college social process; less ‘worship’ of the Penn State lion and more nurturing of the members of the State College community itself. State College is one of those communities that ‘thinks’ that they do everything ‘right’; they have fairs/community days/all the ‘correct’ organizations have representations in State College/lots of churches that offer community meals with fellowship, etc. but what really runs the community is the University and the top 1% to 2% of the community are the ones that really dictate what happens and what doesn’t happen….the bottom line is that these ‘leaders’ will continue to look the other way…until they just are not permitted to look the other way any longer....and the bottom line is that it is all about the money and the amount the Penn State 'culture' is about to bring to the community....
I think many people thought that day would be when Jerry Sandusky was put behind bars for the perverted behavior he was permitted to ‘hide’ for many years…..it just isn’t the case. The residents of State College will continue to ‘whore’ and ‘hide’ until they are not permitted to do so any longer. The culture in State College needs to be changed way before anything else will change in this community where a marvelous academic institution resides.
The lessons that need to be learned to alter a culture begin at home; I like to think that the good in society is far more powerful than the bad….for that to be true, we need to teach our sons and daughters to respect human life….walking over the body of another human being under any circumstance is not respecting human life….and the mom’s and dad’s of the individuals that were indicted need to ask themselves ‘why’?
This is not a workforce issue, but it could be and once any of these indicted individuals obtain career positions, it will be a workforce issue. We need to address these issues prior to the workforce….for society as a whole.
To the parents who lost their son; my heart is bleeding for you. I’ve made many mistakes in my lifetime so far but not in raising my daughter. Blessings!