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BGSU Board of Trustees member speaks out supporting Greek life following student death

BGSU board member Howard Traul said, “The problem is not fraternities but instead the problem is underage, overindulgent drinking by naïve young people.”
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 8:14 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Two weeks ago, Bowling Green State University sophomore Stone Foltz was rushed to the hospital after an alleged hazing event involving the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He passed away three days later.

While Foltz’s death is still being investigated, Bowling Green staff are reevaluating what’s next for Greek life on campus. For one BGSU board member at least, blaming Greek life is not the answer.

Currently, a cloud of uncertainty hangs above Greek Village at BGSU. All Greek activity has been halted indefinitely by the university following the death of Foltz. The tragedy is still being memorialized and remembered by students.

“It makes you stop and realize that life can end fairly early,” said freshman Gabriella Muller. “You know he was a sophomore and life was just beginning for him.”

This week, BGSU Board of Trustees member Howard Traul also spoke out on the tragic events that rocked through campus. Traul who was appointed to the university in 2019 was also a member of Greek life during his tenure as a student on campus. In an op-ed to BG Falcon Media, he discussed what action should be next for Greek organizations.

Some Falcon students agree with Traul’s sentiment.

“I don’t think they should cancel Greek life all together because I know it does provide opportunities for students,” said freshman Jay Flood. “When things like this happen, obviously it feels more black and white than it is. Your first thought, your first instinct is to cancel Greek life all together, but it really is not black and white like that.”

“I don’t think there should be a permanent ban on all activities because they’re needed, people want social and charitable events,” said Sophmore Sophia Siwajeka-Denkmer. “I don’t think it should be like oops gone forever.”

Traul’s letter to the editor goes on to address the benefits Greek life brings to the university. He also adds that bad apple organizations and individuals should be held responsible for any negative action. Traul believes the only solution is to educate organizations moving forward to ensure safety within the Greek system.

Traul’s board colleagues responded to his remarks. Board of Trustees Chair Betty Montogomery stating:

“While I appreciate the opinions and perspectives of my 13 fellow trustees, this opinion letter is just that – an opinion. The board was not previously aware of this article, and it is not a formal statement on behalf of the board of trustees.”

No concrete long-term changes to Greek life have been made by the university at this time.

“I’m not entirely sure how to continue to address it,” said freshman Gabriella Muller. “I’m not really sure how BGSU is going to bounce back from that because it was a loss of a life... and that’s really serious. "

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