Hazing News

Bid Night at Vincennes results in death of William Torrance

The death of William Torrance at a Vincennes fraternity has haunting echoes occurring as it does the week many antihazing activists recall the death of Chuck Stenzel at an Alfred University Tapping Night function.



Police say they believe alcohol was a factor in the death of 19-year-old Vincennes University student William Torrance, after a bid night ceremony at a fraternity.

Some fraternity members tell 14 News, they even canceled their bid night activities Friday night after Torrance was found dead early that morning.

Those who knew the freshman say he’ll be missed.

“For those who actually knew Will, this is kind of a comforting stage,” said Torrance’s friend Jake Johnson.

Johnson says he met Torrance during freshman orientation.

“He always wanted to be outside doing something with his friends,” said Johnson. “He always wanted to be active.”

Vincennes Police say he was found dead early Friday morning at Delta Gamma Iota, where they say minors were drinking the night before.

“This is one of the times where we just have to stick through it,” said Johnson.

The university says Delta Gamma Iota hasn’t been recognized by the campus since Fall 2010, due to unmet requirements. Another fraternity tells 14 News, this event reminds them of the importance of alcohol safety.

“I’m working to stop the underage drinking because we don’t need that kind of risk with us trying to get back onto campus,” said Pi Lambda Phi member Michael Jackson.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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