Remembering student deaths

Death is an unfortunate part of life.

As college students, death is an unfair scenario that should not be a part of our lives yet.

But when a close friend or classmate passes away, students must find a way to deal with the loss.

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, organizing a memorial event in the honor of a lost loved one can be a way to positively cope with the loss.

Hold a dinner for family of the deceased, raise money for their favorite cause, build a memorial for them or name a special place after them.

The Sports Administration Club hosted the second Dash for Dallas event, a 5k trail run, Saturday in memory of Dallas Miller, an IUP student who died in a car accident in February 2013.

“My reaction, and everyone else that was friends with him, was disbelief then sadness,” Madison Torok (senior, sports administration) said. “We dealt with it as a group; it was very hard. It not only affected [sports administration majors] but our professors as well.”

Dallas’s family was also at the event, according to Torok.

“His brother and sister-in-law ran in it, and his parents watched,” Torok said.

The club held a similar event last year as well.

The proceeds from the event went to paying off the other half of the memorial bench that the club raised money for last year.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the American College Health Association, approximately 12,700 college students die annually due to alcohol, drugs or health-related issues.

And that’s not even including vehicle-related deaths.

There were five reported IUP student deaths in 2013 alone – including Miller’s.

While President Michael Driscoll alerts the IUP community and offers psychological services regarding student deaths, we can still do more.

We at The Penn look to other students and student organizations on campus to step up to the challenge like the Sports Administration Club and support all the students that we lose from the IUP community.