Update May 20 at 11:27 a.m.: The University of Oregon released a statement last night confirming the death of 21-year-old student Dylan Pietrs, a Business Administration major from Denver, CO.
The UO Division of Student Life also amended its original statement about the incident, removing a paragraph that said, in part: “Students from many institutions have a history of demonstrating poor life choices during visits to Lake Shasta. These activities are contrary to the values of the university and fraternity and sorority organizations.”
The university removed that paragraph after many criticized it on Twitter. You can view the university’s original statement here.
As a student studying public relations, I am frustrated with the way UO chose to handle the statement regarding the death at Shasta this weekend. Taking time to call out students for their “poor life choices” is blatantly disrespectful on the day of his passing.
— Jill Niedermeyer (@JillNiedermeyer) May 20, 2018
Wow. Not the time or place for this agenda, UO. “As devastating as this sudden passing is, it is important to point out that this tragedy is connected to an unauthorized tradition among many college students.” https://t.co/MIZnjB8xlB
— Justin Hanes (@justinchanes) May 20, 2018
The fourth paragraph is unnecessary, UO https://t.co/zrLVLTlbBq
— Karley Gauthier (@karleygauthier) May 20, 2018
At 11:12 a.m., the UO acknowledged on Twitter that the statement was changed.
The Division of Student Life has updated its statement on the passing of a student at Lake Shasta. We offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the student, and we regret the insensitive tone of the earlier statement: https://t.co/FF416d8wRc
— University of Oregon (@uoregon) May 20, 2018
Update May 19 at 5:30 p.m.: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office released a press statement this afternoon saying that the cause of death is pending post mortem exam and that they have no reason to believe foul play was involved.
A University of Oregon student died Saturday morning at Shasta Lake in Northern California, Shasta County Police confirmed. Authorities have not yet provided a cause of death.
The student was a sophomore affiliated with the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, commonly known as Fiji. He was at the lake with hundreds of other UO students for the annual Shasta weekend event that goes Thursday to Sunday. Students at the lake told the Emerald that almost everyone left Saturday after the student died.
The Emerald is waiting to identify the student so there is time for friends and family to be notified.
Several students have died at Shasta Lake in recent years. A UO student and an Oregon State student both died in May 2005, and another Oregon State student died in 2001.
UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said the university is looking into the incident and wouldn’t release any information until notifying the person’s family.
Update at 5:30 p.m.: Shasta County Sheriff’s Office released a press statement this afternoon saying that the cause of death is pending post mortem exam and that they have no reason to believe foul play was involved.