Monday, March 02, 2009

SUNY Pledge Dies During Pledging Rites

New Details in SUNY Geneseo student death
Reported by: WROC-TV-8 (CBS)

New York State Police are investigating the death of a SUNY Geneseo student. 19-year-old Arman Partamian was found dead in a house around 11 a.m. Sunday.

Monday afternoon, the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office will perform autopsy and toxicology tests to determine the cause of death. Those test results can take up to 2 months to come in.

State police say Partamian was pledging to be a member of PIGS, an off-campus fraternity house/drinking club. Partamian was 2 weeks into an 8 week pledge process.

PIGS is a drinking fraternity/drinking club that according to its members was started in 1982; the purpose is to drink often and drink heavily. There's a $200 to $300 membership pledge fee. The garage behind the PIGS house was converted into a bar. The club plays drinking games such as beer pong and beer football and its members call themselves the Orange Knights.

According to the investigation, Partamian started drinking around Saturday 1 p.m. and stopped sometime around 11:30 p.m. He'd been drinking beer, champagne, gin and vodka. State police say in their interviews with people from the party, there were 20 to 30 people at the party.

Right now, there are 20 to 30 PIGS members but there were people at this weekend's party that weren't PIGS members.

Partamian was found 11 a.m. Sunday. State police are saying it looks like hazing on the surface but they need to investigate further. They are still interviewing people from the party. They've confiscated a significant amount of alcohol from the PIGS house.In the investigation, police found out that Partamian had a rare blood disease called Evan's Syndrome. State police say it may or may not have played a role in his death.

Partamian was a sophomore, majoring in biology. He was also a volunteer firefighter in Geneseo.

SUNY Geneseo sent the following letter out to students and faculty on Sunday:
To the Campus Community:It is with great sadness that we share with you the tragic news that Arman Partamian, a sophomore from Flushing, New York, passed away Sunday morning.

Arman was a biology major and a resident of Ontario Hall. Arman was a 2007 graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School and a recipient of the Miller-Neverett Scholarship.

In high school, Arman was an active member of the Chess Club, and was a Boy Scout Patrol Leader. While at Geneseo, Arman was a dedicated member of the Geneseo Volunteer Fire Department.

Arman is survived by his parents, Hagop and Miriam Partamian.

Members of the College Counseling staff have been and will continue to be available as needed to support members of the College community during this time of loss. Anyone who would like to speak individually with a counselor should contact Counseling Services at 245-5716.

At this time, calling hour and funeral arrangements have not been completed. We will pass this information along to the College community as it becomes available.

We trust that you will join us in keeping the Partamian family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.Sincerely,Robert A. BonfiglioVice President for Student and Campus Life