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The student newspaper at Miami University of Ohio ran a “memorial” piece commemorating the life of a student that people across the country are calling “insensitive” and “disgusting.”
The article reflected on the life of 22-year-old Tim Fresch, who died on April 13 after being taken off life support. He was found unconscious four days prior. Sources tell us he was a brother of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
The article focused almost exclusively on Fresch’s hard-partying ways, chalking his death up to an inevitable consequence of the dark side of college life.
From The Miami Student:
“He was the funniest and nicest dude you’ll ever meet,” said [name redacted]. “He was like ‘Wazzup dude! My name’s Timmy!’ That’s literally the first thing he ever said to me. He did not stop smiling the entire night.”
After that first night, they became instant friends.
One weekend, two of [name redacted] friends came to visit Miami. [name redacted] said Timmy made it his personal mission to get the two visitors completely hammered.
“He was like, ‘Dude, I’m gonna make your friends black the fuck out!’” [name redacted] said. “I was like, ‘Oh, all right. Let’s do it!’”
Timmy succeeded in his mission and got one of [name redacted] friends to blackout. [name redacted] said his friend just fell over on the floor, passed out and started snoring. Timmy decided to get an airhorn, the kind that people commonly use at athletic events, and started blaring it into the guy’s ear. He didn’t budge and continued snoring. Timmy and the rest of the guys there thought it was the funniest thing ever.
“I work at [name redacted], and I created two drinks just for Timmy,” said [name redacted]. “I had to make the most disgusting, boozy concoctions just because he wanted me to make him something stupid.”
Fresch walked into [name redacted]’s first shift at the bar and waited for him to make him that ‘something stupid.’ [name redacted] started Fresch’s drink with a liquid cocaine shot which is Goldschlager, Jägermeister, and Bacardi 151.
“I basically made a drink with a shot and a half of liquid cocaine, gin, vodka and tequila,” said [name redacted]. “It pretty much fucks you up, and then I top that off with Red Bull and Coke. It’s absolutely disgusting, but he loved it.”
[name redacted] calls that concoction “The Fresch” and another “Timmy of the Beach,” which [name redacted] said is much better tasting.
“He loved to have a good time, but he had his demons. I’ll put it that way,” [name redacted] said. “The problem is, a lot of times the people who seem the happiest often have a lot of internal struggles. Look at Robin Williams. He was one of the happiest people in Hollywood, one of the most famously funny people, but he had a lot of demons like my buddy.”
[name redacted] said Timmy seemed to be dealing with those demons better than before. He took a little time off to get better and seemed happy to be back. He loved being at Miami with all of his friends.
“It was just a little too much of everything. A little too much can be a bad thing,” said [name redacted]. “He just went a little too far, but we need to remember him as the great person that he was.”
[name redacted] never saw Fresch’s death coming, but he acknowledged that it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility either.
“He was in a friend group of young, smart kids who lived together, and it was all over consumption and pushing your limits,” [name redacted] said about their time at boarding school. “I suppose that most of us grew out of that, but he did not.”
[name redacted] said it’s a habit that becomes routine. He got down a path that he couldn’t reverse.
“There’s just so much stigma around a lifestyle like that, and kids won’t reach out because they think that there isn’t new information and new help out there, but there is,” said [name redacted]. “Mental health is gaining a lot of traction now. We really just need to get the information to those people. When you really do finally know the facts, it becomes that much easier.”
After receiving hundreds of angry comments, two professors who help oversee the student newspaper defended the article.
Honest reporting on this crisis calls us all to task — faculty who cancel classes on Green Beer Day; a Greek system that seems incapable of self-regulation; parents who ignore early signs of alcohol abuse or mental illness; alumni who hear of rampant drinking and drugs and think: “Well, it’s college; I did that”; and especially students who cheer when friends drink or dose themselves toward oblivion.
What we hope is that amid the outrage, much of it sanctimonious, over a newspaper story, a few students will read that story and think: “That might have been me.”
We hope, too, that The Student’s story will spur our own community to refocus on this national crisis, rather than simply to mourn the loss of Timothy Fresch and move on.
I cannot fathom how this article was allowed to be published. It’s an absolute disgrace that makes Fresch out to be a complete goon who had it coming. Sure, I’d be fine with stories about drinks named after me in my eulogy, but making that the sole focus? The man spent 22 years on this planet, and the author boiled his existence down to shouting at people to get blackout drunk.
The response from the professors is just as deplorable. They say their intent was to shed light on the dangers of college partying while the community was focused on it. Go ahead. Do that. But do it in a separate piece that includes all the students who accidentally overdosed while partying. Don’t single out one man. And don’t single him out in the piece meant to celebrate his life..
Fresch’s brother, a popular DJ, posted a Facebook status that is a much more fitting memorial of Tim.
[via The Miami Student]
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