The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Sorority hosts barbeque in memory of Harmon

Yesterday evening, as the heat intensified and the sun began its descent, Alpha Chi Omega hosted a charity barbeque benefiting M.A.D.D. in memory of Stephanie Harmon, a student member killed in a drunk driving accident on May 15.

As students made their way toward the potato salad and barbeque sandwiches on the porch, Harmon’s portrait greeted them at the stairs — a reminder of whom the event was honoring.

The accident

It was a dry Sunday afternoon.

After spending the weekend at the beach, Harmon headed back home to Montgomery, Alabama.

About an hour outside of Montgomery, Harmon was driving North on I-65, a four-lane interstate road separated in half by a wide median, when a drunk driver, who police reported was traveling between 70 and 100 mph, lost control of his car. His vehicle spun across the median and crashed into Harmon’s 4-door BMW. Harmon died at the scene. The drunk driver lived.

“She didn’t deserve it,” best friend and barbeque organizer Maribel Guzman said. “It’s always unfortunate when the driver survives.”

The aftermath

Alpha Chi Omega President Stacy Goodfellow remembers when she first heard the news.

At first she didn’t know if it was true, since she heard it from an indirect source.

“So, I called her aunt in Montgomery and she told me,” Goodfellow said.

But that wasn’t the hardest part. Goodfellow, with help from Panhellenic, called each of the chapter members to inform them of the tragic loss.

“Hearing myself say it 100 times was hard because the more calls I made, the more reality set in,” she said.

The next day Goodfellow made travel arrangements for 17 sorority members to attend the funeral and burial in Montgomery.

They left Tuesday and arrived for the ceremonies on Wednesday.

“It was the saddest thing I’ve ever been to,” said Goodfellow. “I had just seen her the week before.”

But some how they managed to cope.

In Harmon’s memory, the Alphi Chis, through member contributions and from the Harmons, have raised about $1,300 of the $3,000 needed to build a memorial fountain in the sorority house’s backyard.

But the memorial is just one of the many changes the Alphi Chis have been planning to remember Harmon.

Goodfellow has already altered one aspect of her daily life.

“Now, it’s important for me to say ‘bye’ to people every time I see them, because you never know when you’ll see them again.”

Another way Alpha Chi is remembering Harmon takes place during chapter. On Mondays, the members set out a chair decorated with memorabilia from Harmon’s life.

“Alphabetically she used to sit right next to me. So it’s tough for me to know she isn’t really sitting behind me,” Guzman said.

Even with though the tragic loss has been deeply felt, Guzman knows that Harmon would want her and the chapter members to keep living their lives.

“I feel more lucky that I got to know her so well in two years,” she said, adding that she can’t imagine what her life would have been like without Harmon’s friendship.

Harmon was a junior journalism and CCPA major. She would have studied abroad in London this summer. But as Guzman said, she wasn’t just an academic, “she was someone to look up to.”

“She had this resilience about her that made her inspiring to be around,” Guzman said. “She may have been the biggest optimist in the world.”

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