Letter to the editor

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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

This letter to the editor was written in response to the editorial “Students should be aware of hazing past in Greek community.”

This article is being written not in a response to the students right to know about hazing allegations, but rather with the intention to address the misprinted, and disrespectful details around Mason Sumnicht’s passing. Sigma Pi is an organization that not only strives to constantly improve, but one that learns from mistakes. We feel that it is tremendously important for students to have a well-informed knowledge of the history of hazing incidents and more importantly, any injuries that resulted from them. This is why it is important to address the insinuations made.

Mason was not only an extremely smart and responsible man but was a loving individual and beyond his years; his story deserves to be told with respect and fact, not based on rumors. Mason was in fact rushing Sigma Pi while in his junior year, when on his 21st birthday, he drank too much at a local bar. Like most, he became too intoxicated at the celebration and was then taken from the bar to be put under the ever-watching eyes of his brothers. With his brothers watching, in some twisted fate, his body refused to vomit and subsequently the alcohol penetrated his brain deep enough, eventually shutting off his autonomic nervous system; with his fight or flight response instincts dulled, Mason stopped breathing. Proper Emergency Medical Services were called immediately, and after a medically induced coma, eventually he was taken off life support two weeks later. Mason was never left alone by his brothers to “pass out in his vomit”. As an organization, we believe it is with upmost importance that his story is told properly, not only in his memory, but also as an example and opportunity to teach future students on the responsibility that comes with drinking.

This article was a gross misprint, lacking in professional journalistic integrity, seeing as so many facts were either avoided, or not important enough to look into. This is a classic case of Libel Per Se defamation, using rumors and allegations that were proven wrong, in a vain attempt to create a story. Although Sigma Pi was dropped of all its charges, we have learned from this heinous incident, and will continue to encourage discussion, remembrance, and knowledge that should be passed down for generations; in hopes that families, friends, and loved ones will never feel this pain.

-Tanner Lyon, Sigma Pi Fraternity, Chico State

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