The arrest on Wednesday of 10 men in connection with the loss of LSU freshman Maxwell Gruver suggests the challenge of seeking justice for the passing of a young man who might have been coerced to drink himself to death.
LSU police booked 10 men in connection with Gruver’s death last month. Gruver, a pledge for fraternity Phi Delta Theta, may have been forced to drink to excess as part of a hazing game, according to investigators. All those arrested face misdemeanor charges of hazing. One fraternity member, Matthew Alexander Naquin, was also booked with negligent homicide. Others that LSU police booked for hazing included Zachary Castillo, Elliott Eaton, Patrick Forde, Sean-Paul Gott, Zachary Hall, Ryan Isto, Hudson Kirkpatrick, Sean Pennison, and Nicholas Taulli. An LSU spokesman said eight of those booked are current LSU students who are active fraternity members.
Ten men wanted on arrest warrants in connection with the death of 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver…
The arrest of so many in this case means that investigators believe the responsibility for Gruver’s death is, to some degree, a collective one. Sorting out the precise level of blame among all the possible parties might be difficult should the case go to trial.
That underscores the need for a full airing of the facts, which we hope will be revealed as the wheels of justice move forward.
One day in September, Maxwell Gruver received a phone message from a member of the fraternit…
LSU and the wider community it serves don’t have to wait for a legal resolution of this case to address Gruver’s death. Phi Delta Theta has already been kicked off campus, and LSU officials are reviewing their current policies governing Greek life at LSU.
LSU isn’t the only university dealing with fraternity hazing. Earlier this year, 19-year-old Penn State student Timothy Piazza died after what police believe was a hazing incident at the school’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity house.
Alcohol abuse within fraternities is part of a much larger campus culture that celebrates drunkenness as a fashion statement. That’s evident enough in and around Tiger Stadium every autumn, where the offenders also include football fans who graduated many years ago.
If we’re serious about reforming attitudes toward alcohol at LSU, that change will have to involve more people than the 10 men arrested after Max Gruver’s death.