Anniversary of Sam Martinez’s death approaches

Greek community implemented ‘dry’ weekend last year



Sam Martinez died Nov. 12, 2019, after participating in a “Big-Little reveal night” with members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

FRANKIE BEER, Evergreen news editor

Saturday marks the anniversary of Sam Martinez‘s death.

Three years ago, the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity threw a “family drink night,” in which older members brought pledges large quantities of alcohol, according to a Daily Evergreen article. The next morning, 19-year-old Martinez was pronounced deceased due to acute alcohol intoxication.

Following Martinez’s death, 15 individuals were charged with furnishing liquor to a minor in 2021, in connection with the “family drink night.”

Martinez’s parents, Jolayne Houtz and Hector Martinez, advocated for legislation to create clearer and more transparent policies surrounding hazing, leading to the passage of House Bill 1751, or Sam’s Law, within the state legislature in March 2022. The law enforces anti-hazing policies, training and publicly disclosing information about Greek Life conduct violations online.

Prior to the law’s passage, WSU Greek Life implemented a “dry” weekend from Nov. 11-13 in 2021 to honor Martinez.

This year, the Panhellenic Council declined to speak about this weekend, given the traumatic nature of Martinez’s death within the Greek community.