Hazing News

Time’s Katie Reilly reports a non-hazing death at Fresno State chapter

Sad news of an accidental overdose of a guest at a fraternity house. Non-hazing but tragic nonetheless. Non-hazing death of visitor to Fresno State house. Xanax overdose.  

Moderator: Remembering hazing death of Philip Dhanens at Fresno State Theta Chi in 2012.

Moderator: Why alcohol and the sedative Xanax can be deadly: alcohol with Xanax can slow breathing and possibly lead to death.

Letter to editor from Jim Piazza: Jim Piazza “While the investigation continues, it is important to note that this was not connected to any chapter event and occurred during the school’s winter break,” the national fraternity said in a statement. —- Um – he was 19. All the national fraternity cares about is to say it wasn’t hazing. Ok but it’s still not right. What about furnishing, holding the party in the frat house with minors, drugs being made available, no one keeping an eye on the 19 year old???? There is more to it.

Police are investigating the death of a student at California State University, Fresno who was rushed to the hospital Wednesday from a fraternity house.

Police responded to a call at the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. Omar Nemeth, a 19-year-old sophomore and biochemistry major, was taken to a nearby hospital and later pronounced dead, the university said in a statement.

Nemeth, who was not a fraternity member, appears to have died of an accidental overdose of Xanax after partying at the house early Wednesday morning with fraternity members, his girlfriend and younger brother, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said at a press conference on Thursday.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic news, and our hearts are broken for the student’s family and friends,” University President Joseph Castro said in a statementWednesday.

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. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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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