Joe Dado: One Year Later
One year ago today, Penn State changed forever. Freshman Joseph Dado was found dead in a stairwell between Steidle and Hosler building following a day-long search. Dado had been last seen leaving Phi Gamma Delta fraternity on the corner of Pollock Rd. and Burrowes Rd., and was heading in the direction of his East Halls dormitory.
Dado’s death caused the University, IFC, and State College Borough to take serious looks at the way they handle alcohol abuse by students, and has resulted in significant policy changes from all three.
Over the weekend, President Spanier announced to the Board of Trustees a 30-component strategy to curb the drinking problem. The policy includes mandatory alcohol training for all students treated for alcohol poisoning or cited for underage drinking, as well as the introduction of a responsible action protocol that keeps students who call for medical assistance from facing judicial affairs.
In addition, IFC has altered its social policy to focus on education, allowing for fraternity members to take a class to become Greek Event Monitors for socials, as well as ID checks at the door and bans on Wednesday socials and away bars.
The Commonwealth has also spoken up, with State Senator Jake Corman (R-Centre County) proposing increasing the fines for alcohol related offenses to $1000.
It’s amazing to think that a year ago today, this University changed in a way that few could imagine. The tragedy of Joe’s passing shed light on an inadequate alcohol policy, on that looked the other way in regards to underage consumption and binge drinking. It is quite clear that the University is looking to change the way it handles alcohol consumption by its students, and perhaps if the student body would consider what happened to Joe while out enjoying themselves, these problems will eventually go away.
Nothing can ease the loss of a dear friend or loved one, but perhaps the knowledge that his death helped pave the way for reform, and hopefully prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again, will ease the pain on what is surely to be a difficult day for Joe’s friends and family.
Joe’s death had a profound impact on many Penn Staters. We invite you to share your stories about Joe one more time, in remembrance of a life cut short.