University of Oregon faces heat after 'insensitive' tweet over Lake Shasta incident
EUGENE, Ore. - University of Oregon students are back from California, with their trip to Lake Shasta cut short when a fellow student died at the campground.
Now, the University is receiving harsh criticism for the way that it responded to the tragedy.
21-year-old Dylan Pietrs was a Business Administration major, and a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Deputies say he died following a night of drinking at Lake Shasta. However, it's unclear is alcohol contributed to his death.
Hours after the news broke, the UO Division of Student Life released the following statement:
Students, faculty and staff,
The Division of Student Life has received word that a Dylan Pietrs, a 21 year old business administration major and member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, died in an incident at Lake Shasta this weekend. The incident will be fully reviewed by authorities in Shasta County and at this time the full facts and details remain unknown.
The death is tragic, and the university offers its deepest sympathy to family and friends of Dylan and the communities he was a part of at the University of Oregon.
It is our understanding that UO students are returning from Lake Shasta early in light of this terrible event. We encourage our students to seek out counseling support from the University Counseling and Testing Center if they are affected by this tragic event. The dean of students’ office also has drop-in hours from 1-5 p.m. each business day in Oregon Hall.
It is important to point out that this tragedy is connected to an unauthorized tradition among many college students. 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.
Please join us in offering our sincere condolences to all affected by this incident.
The Division of Student Life
Many people responded on Twitter, calling the response 'disgusting' and 'insensitive.'
The University deleted the statement and tweeted out an apology.
Students on campus Sunday were shocked and saddened by the news of Pietrs' death. The UO is offering counseling support to anyone affected by the tragedy.
Several students have died at Lake Shasta in recent years, including a University of Oregon student and an Oregon State student in 2005.