Friday, September 5, 2014

In Memoriam: Armando Villa

Armando Villa died last July at age 19 while being forced to climb the dry mountains of the Angeles Forest on a hot day without enough water or proper shoes. 


What perverted sense of brotherhood causes young men to physically torment would-be brothers to the point of killing them?

I don't get it.

What is there about some men that they want to prove their strength and force others to extreme tests in order to join their group?

Macho--does it mean being tough?  

Being tough on oneself is a personal choice--perhaps dictated by group pressures so that it is barely a choice.

Causing needless pain to others, however, is inexcusable.  Putting others' lives in danger through forced drinking of alcohol or forced "manhood" tests is stupid.

One example of the sheer, pointless, and cruel stupidity of this fraternity hike: Armando and others were forced to wear cheap, wrong-sized, non-hiking shoes that blistered their feet.  

Not allowing water during exercise in hot weather is more than cruel and ignorant--it's manslaughter. 

Throw these young men in jail for a long time.  Let them think about it.

Thank you to President Dianne Harrison for her leadership in ridding the Cal State Northridge campus of this pitiful excuse for a club.

Here is part of  President Harrison's statement on the hazing death of Armando:

"Hazing is stupid, senseless, dangerous and against the law in California. It is a vestige of a toxic way of thinking in which it was somehow okay to degrade, humiliate and potentially harm others. It has no place on this or any university campus, in any student club or organization, and it will not be tolerated."

Joyce Carol Oates wrote a short story, "Landfill," about a fraternity hazing event that resulted in a young man's death.  Her story was based on an actual event.

She tries to follow the many threads that provide an answer to "Why?"

LA Times reports on the circumstances of Armando's death:

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