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College Life and Murder

Last weekend, a young man my daughter knew was shot to death outside of his apartment complex. His name was Dennis Hayle and he was a 22-year-old senior from New York. He was scheduled to graduate from North Carolina A&T in the Spring.

Who shot him remains a mystery. No one is talking even though there was a crowd of young people gathered at a "house party" right across from his apartment complex that same night.

My daughter, Janie, said the college community is grieving hard for this young man who was a good student and a good all-around person. He always had a kind word for everyone. As she reflected on seeing him just hours before his murder, Janie joked about how she couldn't believe he was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity because he just didn't fit that "rowdy boy" image.

What is disturbing about this story (in addition to the fact that no one is talking) is that students open up their apartments to complete strangers for the purpose of having a "house party." The fact that someone you don't know would come to your house and kick it with other strangers is beyond me. That would be like Nate and me posting signs all over town inviting everyone to join our Super Bowl Party.

Have young people become some impersonal with each other that they don't really care who they associate with as long as everyone is having a good time?

Well, I can say this for my daughter. She's decided "house parties" are no longer in her college life future.


Karlyn said…
Oh no Beverly, how horrible! What's worse is the murderer is still at large. Hopefully he's caught soon. I hope your daughter is coping alright.
How sad! I will join you in praying for your daughter. Sounds like she is a smart young lady and looking at the big picture. Hopefully they catch the murderer soon!
Mitch said…
Hi Beverly,

House parties aren't new; we had them back in the 70's. Most of the time, I never knew the person throwing the party; I was just invited, but I rarely went. However, I did go to a couple before college and one while in college. I went with friends but never knew the person throwing the party; no big deal to any of us.

I also went to a few of these parties after I graduated, up to around age 30 or so. Still never knew the host, but had a good time. Always met the host, though; I thought it was the courteous thing to do.

When we get older, we segregate better, but as younger people,... we trust our friends to do the right thing. We just might not always be correct.
Pam Archer said…
This is horrible. The sadder thing is that it is happening more and more frequently.

Tell Janie to stay safe.
Melodieann said…
We did the same thing is our younger days. I remember attending many college parties where I didn't know the host. I just got invited by someone who was going. I just think it was a different time then. Incidents like this one were a rarity. Now that they are becoming the "norm", hopefully, young people will adapt accordingly and carefully screen their guest list.
Kathy said…
I can't tell you how sorry I am that Janie is having to deal with the loss of a male friend, after the tragedy of her boyfriend. That is way too much for anyone to deal with, especially at her young age.

I didn't go to college when I was 18 so I don't know about house parties, but I do think back to how stupid and trusting I was in regards to strangers and sometimes I think it's a miracle I'm still alive!
Pat Montgomery said…
Oh, Bev, that is terrible! that is a hard life lesson for his friends to have learned.

I think kids are just naive and trusting. They have not faced their own mortality and it doesn't occur to them that domething bad could happen--unitl it does.

I remember some of the crap I pulled and know I must have kept my guardian angel busy 24-7!
Debbie said…
How terribly sad, but thank God Janie is so 'switched on'! This awakening is a sad lesson, and at a shocking cost! She certainly sets a good example which I pray others,will follow her lead.And not only for their wellbeing, but out of respect for that young man and all who knew and loved him.

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