University of Oregon Blames Student Death on ‘Poor Life Choices’

The University of Oregon on Monday apologized for issuing an “insensitive” statement after a student died on a trip to Shasta Lake in Northern California. “It is important to point out that this tragedy is connected to an unauthorized tradition among many college students,” the university wrote in the wake of Dylan Pietrs’ death. “Students from many institutions have a history of demonstrating poor life choices during visits to Lake Shasta. These activities are contrary to the values of the University and Fraternity and Sorority Organization.” Pietrs was found unresponsive in his tent on Saturday; it’s unclear whether his death was alcohol related. After an outcry over the university’s statement, R. Kevin Marbury, the schools’s vice president for student life, apologized. “We have heard from a number of you and greatly appreciate your perspective that the statement came across as insensitive,” he said. “While I didn’t know Dylan personally, he was a member of the Duck family and right now we should be focused on responding to the loss of a member of our family.”