A year ago, Cornell suffered a tragic loss with the passing of freshman Antonio Tsialas ’23. Today, the anniversary of that news serves as a painful but poignant reminder to students of their responsibility in creating a safe campus social culture. It calls on us to remember those in our community who are not with us as Cornell navigates this unique point in its history.
In a statement to The Sun, Tsialas’ mother Flavia Tomasello wrote about her hopes for college culture and Cornell moving forward:
“I hope that Antonio’s passing will inspire a cultural change in our colleges’ social life. I would like to see these deadly traditions and primitive practices be forever removed out of our colleges, so that hazing deaths do not occur in the future. I hope that this tragedy will force schools to create an environment for students to grow not only in knowledge, but also in love, inclusion and compassion. I hope that students will be armed with the information they need to make good decisions, to balance adventure and new experience, with safe and compassionate choices. We and the Cornell community should know the truth so that this does not repeat itself again. What started here at Cornell over 100 years ago can end here at Cornell, and we have an enormous opportunity to lead this longing for healing, love, truth and peace.”
In light of this statement, we implore Cornellians to take a pause in their daily routines and remember Antonio. Do not allow for tragedy like this to be forgotten. Speak up when you see or hear about irresponsible events, like the one that was held at Phi Kappa Psi which resulted in Antonio’s death.
If these past twelve months have shown us nothing else, it’s that we cannot afford tragedy like last October on this campus again. There is too much sadness and unrest in this world.
We echo the Tsialas family’s call for truth and transparency, as the investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death continues in the courtroom. We demand that the positive changes that began too late last year continue with full rigor, not sidelined, even now.
And in these moments of stress and uncertainty, we implore our fellow Cornellians to be grateful that we have had the chance to climb the slope with many who have tragically passed before having the opportunity to walk through campus garbed in cap and gown. And no matter where you are studying from, and how much Cornell life continues to change, do not forget those who walk in spirit alongside you.
The above editorial reflects the opinions of The Cornell Daily Sun. Editorials are penned collaboratively between the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor and Opinion Editor, in consultation with additional Sun editors and staffers. The Sun’s editorials are independent of its news coverage, other columnists and advertisers.