Written by DML
There is a terrible story today about a 20-year-old college student in upstate New York who lost his life in the frigid winter weather. The student was attending SUNY Oneonta at the time of his death. Facts are still sketchy, but his story is tragic. And what happened to him can happen to any college kid. Therefore, I ask you to share this post.
According to school officials, the student was found unconscious off campus on a bitterly cold Friday morning. Temperatures on Thursday night in Oneonta dropped from minus 10 degrees to a low of minus 14 degrees at 6:50 a.m. Friday morning.
Local police are investigating the death. They told the Daily Star of Oneonta that the 20-year-old was found unconscious outside a public transit garage several miles from the college Friday morning.
Although the reporting on this death is limited because it is so new, the rumors are flying around campus. I learned of these rumors from people who know kids who go to the school.
I never report on rumors. And the only reason why I am writing about this rumor is because if it is true, or even partly true, it stands as a wake-up call for all parents and grandparents with kids in college. If the rumors are false, if his death was the result of being outside at the wrong time well that too is a lesson learned.
According to rumors, the death may have resulted from a fraternity prank gone bad. Apparently, there is a tradition of blindfolding a new pledge (someone who wants to join the fraternity) and taking them into the woods or some remote area. The blindfold is taken off and cell phone taken away. The pledge is then directed to find his way back to the fraternity house. Often this is carried out in cold weather, and drinking is usually involved.
Again, I want to emphasize that I have no evidence to confirm the rumors as being true or false. And the police nor the school have confirmed or denied the student was a pledge. But the mere fact that it’s even a possibility is outrageous.
Police have confirmed the young man was found in the snow early Friday morning. Rumor is that he allegedly froze to death after falling on the ice and bumping his head to the point of being unconscious.
SUNY Oneonta put out the following statement: “The college was informed Thursday evening of the death of a SUNY Oneonta student.
“The student was found unconscious at an off-campus location early Thursday morning and transported to a local hospital to be treated for exposure to extreme cold. The student died at Bassett Medical Center on Thursday evening.
“The cause of the student’s death and the circumstances that led up to it are under investigation by the Oneonta Police Department, and the college is cooperating fully with local authorities.”
Police also issued a statement. In part, it reads: “This is a death investigation and is being treated very seriously, however there has been no indication of criminality up to this point.
“The facts that we are able to release without compromise of the investigation are as follows — all times are approximate:
“On Thursday, January 27th, 2022 at about 6:50 am, City of Oneonta employees located a male, laying on the pavement near the Silas Lane Bus Garage near I-88 Exit 13.
“The student was initially identified by his SUNY Oneonta ID and was apparently suffering from extended exposure to extremely cold, subzero temperatures. Officers and Fire EMS were dispatched and began treatment on scene and the individual was transported to AO Fox Memorial Hospital.
“Detectives reviewed bus garage video as well as video from the buses used the evening prior. There was no video of (student’s name) being transported by a city bus. The video from the bus garage finds that the student emerged from a wooded area behind the garage at about 2:15 am. A search of the surrounding area indicates Tyler may have walked off the roadway at the eastbound off-ramp for I-88 at the intersection of Route 205, climbing through the snow and crossing a drainage creek before emerging on Oneonta City property.
“As the student was last seen around midnight on January 27th, we are seeking assistance from the public who may have additional information regarding the student’s whereabouts between the hours of 12:00 am and 2:15 am to complete the timeline.”
In the full statement, police ask people not to speculate what happened. I understand the request but I’m sorry, I have heard way too many horror stories about college pranks and late night drinking parades gone bad. I cannot sit back and be silent.
Maybe this case is straight forward. Perhaps the student made the terrible decision to go out for a walk at 2am when it was below zero degrees. If so, then let it be said to our kids that doing such a walk is not smart. But if it does turn out that this young man was involved in a college prank, or that he was out drinking wildly, then let it be a warning to us all.
If the rumors are even party true, let me be the first to say I am outraged. This would be yet another senseless death happening at a college that prides itself on partying. Oneonta’s nickname is ‘Stoneonta’, as in the school is famous for kids partying.
My daughter went to Oneonta. She has confirmed to me that the rumors have merit in the sense that fraternity pranks do happen. Not just with the boys, but with girls too. She told me of a story where a female nearly died in the snow after passing out face first into a snowbank. She was eventually found, thankfully, but she could have died.
Currently, I have a son in college. He is in his senior year. Trust me when I say I am counting the days until he graduates. He is my third child to attend college, and like his older brother and sister he will end up working for me when he graduates. In other words, he didn’t need a day of college. He tells me about his assignments, they are ridiculous. So, let me say without pause, his four years were a complete waste of time academically because nothing he was taught will be applied at my companies. Moreover, I wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education that is filled with liberal nonsense. I could have taught him more about money, life, and business than any college could or would. Had he spent the past four years working at DML CBD or DML NEWS APP, he’d be four years ahead of everyone else his age. He’d have money saved in the bank versus a student loan to pay off for the next twenty years.
I have hated every minute of my kids going to college, and I don’t know how I let myself fall into the trap of sending them away. College has become nothing more than a place to drink, have sex, and protest against America. Today, these kids learn nothing that can be applied in real life. The majority of universities in America teach kids complete garbage. The faculty is often made up of absolute idiots who are hell bent on indoctrinating the students with socialist ideologies that ruin cities like L.A. and New York.
I support trade schools. It is much smarter to send kids to an institution that offers an education specific to a career.
But what’s even worse than the stupid crap they teach is the drinking, drugging, and sexing that is permitted to go on. A few months ago my wife and I were invited to attend parents weekend at my son’s college. I was outraged at what I saw go on in town. Underage drinking is celebrated, nakedness and drugging is everywhere. And wild parties that go into the wee hours are as popular and in demand as free tickets to the Superbowl.
I say the college life is not a safe one no matter how it is measured, and sadly there’s a story in Oneonta that supports my statement. Whether this young man died from a fraternity prank gone bad, or a wild night of partying, or just a bad decision of walking around a highway amid a freezing cold night, parents have to really think twice about what we are paying for our kids to do at these universities.
May God help the grieving family. My heart goes out to the parents; any one of us who sends a kid off to college can easily be sitting in their shoes tomorrow. Therefore, I ask you to do what I did today — call your college student and tell them not to risk losing a life by doing stupid nonsense. Maybe they listen to you, maybe they don’t. But it can’t hurt reminding them.