Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BU mourns the loss of a student

As president of Bloomsburg University and father of three adult children, my heart goes out to the family and friends of student-athlete Brian Savage, who passed away overnight Friday at an off-campus apartment.

Our entire campus community feels the tragic loss of this 19-year-old soccer player from Elizabethtown. It is always painfully difficult to inform a student’s family of news of this nature. The shock still lingers as we continue to mourn the loss of this young man who was beginning his sophomore year and second season on the Huskies men’s soccer team.

This tragedy was felt immediately, as evident by more than 100 messages left on his Facebook page as of Tuesday afternoon. We continue to offer our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. Although the official cause of death has yet to be determined, it is believed alcohol played a role in Brian’s death. Even the suspicion of alcohol warrants a strong reminder of how dangerous it can be for those of legal age and younger. This tragedy reinforces our commitment to be vigilant, to stress to our students through a variety of educational programs the dangers of alcohol and the serious results of binge drinking.

Despite these warnings, we still have too many students engaging in binge drinking which is often a behavior begun in high school. In the wake of this tragedy, I urge students and parents to take notice once again of how dangerous alcohol use can be. Parents, please take time to speak with your son or daughter about the importance of making responsible and safe decisions. We understand the college experience is a time for young adults to grow into young leaders, something we relish in doing here at Bloomsburg.

Although it seems many young people view alcohol consumption as a right of passage, BU does not condone or permit the use of alcohol on campus or at university-affiliated, off-campus housing. And we certainly do not condone underage drinking. Our alcohol awareness programs begin with our incoming freshmen orientation programs, and an active campus group, DAWN (Drug Alcohol Awareness Network), offers an open door to students who need help or simply have a question to be answered.

But regardless of the cause, we have lost a member of our community much too soon. Our counseling staff stands by to assist students and staff during this time of loss.


  1. He died during / as the result of a CRIME he perpetrated. Would we look at a burglar, rapist, speeder the same way? Doubtful. He committed a crime and unfortunately died, but let's be egalitarian in our sympathies. He is not a victim of anyone but himself--analogous to a rapist killed by a woman who shot her attacker in self-defense.

  2. As a parent of a Bloomsburg student I feel that the lack of student housing on campus is a contributing factor to the alcohol problem at Bloomsburg. If there are 10,000 students and only housing for 4,000. That leaves 6,000 students (I realize some of these may be commuters) to find housing. Most of these students are living on their own for the first time and have no supervision at all. If more students were living on campus the alcohol situation could be monitored more closely.

  3. Did the University's alcohol awareness program include new TRANSFER students as well, and not just incoming FRESHMEN? Since most, if not all, transfer students are forced by Bloomsburg University to live in off-campus housing, it would seem that the University would want to make sure they include all TRANSFER students in all of their orientation programs. Unfortunately, this has not been our young adult child's experience as a new TRANSFER student at Bloomsburg U. It's time to really check out what's going on to address the needs of TRANSFER students to your campus.

  4. Dear first anonymous poster. You are serious right? If I follow your line of thinking it seems that you are blaming the student for their death.
    If I am following your theory correctly it goes to show that smokers die of their own fault. Pedestrians that are hit by a car are also at their own fault. Why? Because they decided to walk and not be in a car.
    Bikers with no helmets, jaywalkers, and actually people that breath in the toxins in the air are at fault from their own death. Why did you get black lung? I worked in a mine. WELL THEN IT's YOUR FAULT YOU DIED!
    Sir, or Miss,the world view you described makes a world were there is no sympathy for anyone. Oh you have cancer? What did you do to deserve that? Oh you are in the military? You are just askin to die over there.
    Please think before you speak. All of you. Including you Mr. President. This is not the time for your speach again alcohol and drugs.