Max Gruver’s suitemates and neighbors describe him as “warm,” “inviting,” and “energetic.”
“I really wish I could’ve gotten the chance to know him better,” said Nick Ashton, who lived a few doors down from Gruver in LSU’s South Hall. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable talking to him.”
Gruver was taken from the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital on Wednesday night and later pronounced dead. LSU officials are investigating his death as a possible hazing incident, and all Greek activity has been suspended until further notice.
Gruver’s suitemates, Justin Franklin and Ty Meshell, said a residential coordinator and an on-campus counselor came to their suite to notify them of Gruver’s death. Meshell and Franklin’s room is connected to Gruver’s by a bathroom.
“I thought it was a normal room inspection or a noise complaint,” Franklin said. “I was shocked. I had no earthly idea it was going to be the news that Max had passed away.”
Franklin said the university has offered them assistance, like counseling service or time off, if they decide they need it.
“There’s been a police officer outside our doors for the last few days,” Meshell said. “They knocked on our door [Friday] morning, and informed us we can’t go inside the bathroom we shared with Max and his roommate.”
Most South Hall residents, including his suitemates, only knew Max Gruver for a month.
“I didn’t know him that well, but he seemed like a really great guy,” Meshell said. “He had speakers in his room and he was always blaring music. He was always down for a fun time and I really appreciate that.”
“He told me how excited he was to be here on move-in day,” Franklin said. “He told me that he hoped our experience would be good, his experience would be good, and that college would be everything he thought it would be.”
Franklin expressed concern that the culture at LSU will remain unchanged, despite the tragedy.
"If you’re supposed to be a club full of friends and people who have life-lasting relationships, why did his life have to end so early? Now he doesn’t get to be a part of that, and that’s all he wanted.”
Now Meshell is pleading with LSU students to remember Gruver, and why he is gone.
“Speak his name. Don’t just let him be that one guy that passed away at a frat party. This could happen to anyone, and it needs to be prevented at all costs.”