The Schollmaier Arena after the "Turning Tragedy into Progress" event held by TCU Fraternity and Sorority Life on Oct. 5, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Ella Gibson)
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TCU Fraternity and Sorority Life partnered with TCU Athletics and Phi Delta Theta to present “Turning Tragedy into Progress” in Schollmaier Arena Tuesday night, where students had a chance to hear testimonies from parents of the Anti-Hazing Coalition.

The event was targeted toward individuals in Greek life, though open to all. Hundreds of students filed into the arena when the doors opened at 7 p.m. and continued to fill the seats for 45 minutes until the start of the event.

Fraternity members made up the majority of the crowd. Required to attend the event by their fraternities, members scanned a bar code to enter the arena, along with signing their names to mark attendance.

Students, primarily fraternity members, sit in the Schollmaier Arena waiting for the event to begin on Oct. 5, 2021. (Kathryn Lewis/TCU360)

Students filled the east half of the arena with few seats vacant. As the presentation began, four members of the Anti-Hazing Coalition took their places behind podiums on the basketball court.

Rae Ann and Steve Gruver spoke first. The Gruvers introduced themselves as the parents of Max Gruver, who died in 2017 due to fraternity hazing. The arena’s screen played a video of various news stories from fatal hazing cases.

Rae Ann and Steve Gruver speak about their son Max Gruver on Oct. 5, 2021. (Kathryn Lewis/TCU360)

The Gruvers shared that Max was a journalism major at Louisiana State University and a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and showed extensive details from the night of Max’s death, including physical abuse, forced memorization and abuse of 190-proof alcohol.

Debbie Debrick shared about her son Dalton Debrick, who died in 2014. Dalton Debrick attended Texas Tech University and was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. He was forced to drink half a bottle of whiskey in under an hour and died after his fraternity brothers failed to call 911, his mother said.

Kathleen Wiant testified about her son Collin Wiant, who attended Ohio University and was a member of Sigma Pi Epsilon fraternity. Colin Wiant died in 2018 due to nitrous oxide ingestion forced by fraternity hazing. Kathleen Wiant explained that there were other accounts of hazing forced upon Collin Wiant prior to his death.

Debbie Debrick (left) and Kathleen Wiant (right) speak about their sons at the event on Oct. 5, 2021. (Kathryn Lewis/TCU360)

Along with descriptions of hazing cases, the parents of the victims shared personal photographs and memories about their children.

The members of the coalition presented a PowerPoint that outlined the legal ramifications of hazing. Additionally, Steve Gruver presented a slide on medical amnesty. He encouraged students to help those in need of medical support without fearing repercussions.

The coalition representatives ended their presentation with a history of hazing on TCU’s campus. Students were left to consider how they may be contributing to the hazing system and were encouraged to make a change before any other tragedies.

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