At the request of the victims' families, who have expressed a need for privacy, the University of South Carolina did not release the victims' names until North Carolina officials confirmed their identities. Privacy concerns also prevent the university from displaying photographs of the students.
October 29, 2007

Statements by Jay Laura, Sigma Alpha Epsilon president, and Lauren Hodge, Delta Delta Delta president

Jay Laura
First I would like to express my condolences for everyone who has been affected by this terrible tragedy, especially the families and friends of the victims and those who were blessed enough to have survived.
In times like these I am reminded of how lucky I am to live in the state of South Carolina, attend the University of South Carolina and be a part of Sigma Alpha Epsilon due to the amount of care and help my friends, my family, my friends' families, my fellow Gamecocks, and my fraternity brothers have offered and are receiving.  
Most of my mind is currently dominated with grief, despair, and sympathy for the victims' families but there is a small part of my soul this is smiling today as I witness the spirit of our community as it comes together to support all those in need.  This is the same spirit that brought these students together at Ocean Isle, one of love, caring, fellowship, and a shared sense of belonging.

I believe no matter who the victims of an incident like this were our community would respond in the same manner, but I also believe that this outpouring of support is due to the character of the individuals whom we lost.  In SAE we have a creed by which we live entitled the "True Gentleman," which is recited as follows:

The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.

-John Walter Wayland (Virginia Omicron Chapter 1899)

The brothers whom we have lost embodied this creed and I can imagine that those who they surrounded themselves with this past weekend exemplified these virtues also.  That being said it helps to know that those who have been lost are now in a better place, free from the pain and strife of this sometimes cruel world and it is with a heavy heart that I pray for their families and loved ones.

Lauren Hodge
First of all, I just want to say thank you to everyone for the outpouring support for our chapter and members of Delta Delta Delta. As you can imagine, this has been an extremely difficult time for our chapter and for the entire campus as a whole.

We have received numerous phone calls, e-mails, flowers and even food, sent to the house, and it really means a lot to know that so many people are here for us through these hard times.

But this is also affected so many other people than just our chapter and our sorority. We have to keep in mind that it's affected the entire campus and all of the families of the members. We have been in full support of the families and for everyone involved in this tragedy, and they are all in our thoughts and prayers.

We have ministers and counselors coming in throughout the week. Though our chapter house is open to anyone who feels as if they want to come in and talk to a counselor or a minister, we have certain times scheduled that they will be at the house. And, that's for USC students.

We are trying to do as much as we can right now to help everyone cope with this problem and with this tragedy. Again, thanks to everyone for the overwhelming support that we've received.

The University of South Carolina Alma Mater
"We Hail Thee Carolina"

We hail thee, Carolina, and sing thy high praise
With loyal devotion, remembering the days
When proudly we sought thee, thy children to be:
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!


Photo gallery

Memorial Service

Additional video

News conference, Oct. 29