Geneseo mourns loss of Arman Partamian

Sophomore Arman Partamian, 19, died early Sunday morning. Though initial police reports indicate that alcohol may have been involved, no official cause of death will be known for several weeks pending toxicology tests.

Partamian was discovered by another student at approximately 11 a.m. on Sunday at a residence on lower Court Street. The house is associated with the non-Greek organization PIGS, which is not recognized or overseen by the college.

Vice President of Student and Campus Life Robert Bonfiglio notified the campus community of Partamian's death on Sunday afternoon. On Tuesday, President Christopher Dahl issued a statement acknowledging emerging reports from outside media that Partamian may have been involved in a drinking ritual of the PIGS organization the day before his death.

"We strongly condemn irresponsible organizations that ignore the expectations and values of the College, recruit students like Arman and then encourage behavior that puts their lives at risk," Dahl stated. The statement referred to Partamian as "a promising and talented student."

Partamian was from Flushing, N.Y. in Queens. He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 2007 and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 589 of Flushing. Upon admission to Geneseo he was awarded the Miller-Neverett Scholarship, which recognizes "a student who has demonstrated leadership potential through previous involvement in activities and organizations that enhanced the community in which they live," according to the student bulletin.

In October, Partamian joined the Village of Geneseo's fire department as a volunteer emergency medical technician. According to Chief Andrew Chanler, Partamian had applied with a "pretty strong resume," took on regular shifts of duty and had been training to become a paramedic. "He was looking to give something back [to the community]," Chanler said.

Friends recalled Partamian's upbeat demeanor. "He really did have a - it's hard to pinpoint - but a personality, sense of humor or outlook on life that really is an irreplaceable presence," said sophomore Laura Marrin. "I'm reminded of that Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, 'To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - that is to have succeeded.' He had that impact on my life. He made me breathe easier."

A viewing for Partamian will take place this afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. and this evening from 7 to 9 p.m. in Flushing. A funeral mass will take place tomorrow at noon at the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs in Bayside, N.Y. On-campus ceremonies to honor Partamian's memory are still being planned.