Penn State Students dress as Virginia Tech Victims for Halloween Costume

Nathan Jones (senior-biochemistry and molecular biology) said he and Jessica Maroclo (senior-psychology), who is listed as a Virginia resident in the Penn State student directory, went to a Halloween party this year under the impression that only a “small group” of friends would see their get-ups.

Nathan Jones Virginia Tech Penn State Halloween Costume

I know it does not represent a great majority of Penn State students, or of people in
general, but come on people. Starting with a picture on Facebook, this h

as now created a firestorm of outrage.

With kids these days, nothing shocks me anymore, except Americans apathy to it all:

Two Penn State students, dressed as Virginia Tech shooting victims, at a Halloween party have enraged people from the Virginia Tech community, as well as the entire country. It only took a couple of idiots from Penn State to detract from all the great things the student body did after the trajedy.

I’ve seen all of the controversial pictures. They are of two Penn State students and are extremely graphic. Both are wearing Virginia Tech t-shirts and elaborate make-up. Both have bullet holes in their bodies.

“It’s not that it was funny, it’s that we are notorious and infamous in the state college, so we have to do things that push the envelope just for shock value,” he said.

Penn Stat

e officials were quick to respond to the costumes,”We are appalled that these individuals would display this level of insensitivity, indifference, and lack of common decency and sense by dressing up in this manner,” the school said.

“The fact that one of these individuals is actually from Virginia, makes it even more difficult to understand. Just because something is within the bounds of the Constitution and free speech, does not mean it should be undertaken. We certainly condemn these ugly and senseless actions. Most Penn Staters a


re as offended by this as anyone from Virginia Tech would be– and rightfully so. These two people do not represent 90,000 Penn State students. They represent themselves.”

After seeing the pictures, a Virginia Tech student created a Facebook group called, “People Against This Costume.” Some of the upset members have left threatening messages to the Penn State students.

Virginia Tech Penn State Halloween Costume

“This is a group of college students who now think it’s trendy to be upset about their friends being killed,” one of the two Penn State students who wore the costume said. “I don’t know what they teach people in Virginia Tech, but at Penn State we don’t learn to threaten people with murder to teach them that murdering is wrong.”

He goes on to defend the pictures.

“The thing is, everybody’s making a big stink about Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech was 32 deaths out of the 26 thousand that happen in America everyday,” he said. “That’s the problem with college students. They all live in an ivory tower of privilege. They don’t understand, when it all boils down to it, it’s someone wearing a costume.”

Reaction from Tech students and Blacksburg residents was disgust.

“That somebody would have the nerve to mock [the victims]. They were really good people,” said local business owner, Carol Gwin.

Gwin knew three of the victims in the shootings and considered them cherished friends.

Remember last year at the Blue and White game when we spelled out VT in honor of the shooting victims at Virginia Tech? Or all the Virginia Tech t-shirts everyone was wearing? Or the Penn State shirts in maroon and orange? Or the $110,000 Family Clothesline donated from the sale of those shirts? Well it all was just ruined, cause some people dressed like a “Virginia Tech Shooting Victims” on Halloween. People, if it’s on Facebook, someone will find it.

We first came across an article on WSLS’ website, the NBC station in Roanoke Virginia, which says that they found pictures of two Penn State students who dressed up like Virginia Tech shooting victims for Halloween and posted the pictures on Facebook. It’s surprising The Collegian staff missed this when they wrote the piece on the “gay KKK member,” “Aunt Jemima” and “pregnant black girls” that people dressed up like this Halloween (wtf is wrong with us here?)

Anyway, a “People against this costume” group was formed on Facebook (which is closing in on has over 4,000 members) in response to the costumes. The administrator of the group has blacked (browned?) out the face of the girl in the photo and removed any discussion of who she is. They even closed down the wall for a while because of some threatening messages that were posted, but it’s back up.

They wanted shock value? How about a taser?

Since the start of the Facebook group, the “victims” have started to receive some threatening messages, to which he says, “This is a group of college students who now think it’s trendy to be upset about their friends being killed,” one of the two Penn State students who wore the costume said. “I don’t know what they teach people in Virginia Tech, but at Penn State we don’t learn to threaten people with murder to teach them that murdering is wrong.”

Can we really give this

Jessica Maroclo Virginia Tech Penn State Halloween Costume

a disdain for the entire university? If the tragedy taught us anything it taught us not to judge an entire community because of one sick individual. Penn State gave great support last spring.

The thing is, everybody’s making a big stink about Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech was 32 deaths out of the 26 thousand that happen in America everyday,” he said. “That’s the problem with college students. They all live in an ivory tower of privilege. They don’t understand, when it all boils down to it, it’s someone wearing a costume.

WOW! Just wow.

If you have any info on who these people are let us know.


192 thoughts on “Penn State Students dress as Virginia Tech Victims for Halloween Costume

  1. ^^^To Jeff, if you were referring to my comment, I wasn’t comparing the victims of the shooting to soldiers. Someone had previously said how it was fine to dress up as dead soldiers for Halloween because people do it all the time. I was just stating my opinion that that is disgusting too.

  2. As a parent of a VT student, I find this just simply sick. I don’t think these students represent Penn State. I’m not sure what they represent. I will tell you, those students have tarnished the reputation of a good university. I would hope that Penn State would make them remove the post or contact facebook to remove the post.

    For all of the Hokie Nation that is still grieving the loss of 32 lives, I hope you know that this is not a representation of Penn State and their student body as a whole.

  3. Their costumes are absolute genius. All of you need to learn to take a joke, and stop getting high on outrage.

  4. This never should have gone viral. I can understand why it might work for a party as geographically removed from VT as Penn State, and while I don’t agree in every case and think the statement quite callous, I can understand Jones’ comment about support being trendy. Only the Freshmen class in 2006 is even still at VT.
    However, having gone to high school with sons and daughters of the professors who were shot, I can only imagine what havoc stunts of this nature wreak on these families. I blame the media for not protecting these families from having to rehash these events.
    Media attention should never have been brought into the situation. Penn State should not be held responsible. These students should not be disallowed to get a degree on the basis of their Halloween costumes, however poor the choice may have been. Essentially, disrespect is disrespectful, but not always punishable and certainly not worthy of national attention.

  5. *I meant “Not that it is appropriate at all.”
    And if this is a second occurrence of the same behavior, then really shame on them.

  6. I’m from PA, but went to college in VA. I have friends who were there that day and there is nothing that will ever erase the feelings of anxiety, panic, fear, and shock that came from that shooting. For the one student to say that college students “live in an ivory tower of privilege” because we all remember and can still feel what it was like that day is ridiculous. I’d like to see what he says after mommy and daddy have to bail him out with school, his future employers when he wants to get a job after college, etc. Who would be the “privileged” one then? Not to mention Penn State isn’t exactly a cheap school. Even if you have scholarships and grants, you’d be privileged to go there. He should remember that when talking about ivory towers.

    To say that these pictures weren’t supposed to be seen by any other than at the party is ridiculous. College students live on Facebook so somehow someone would see them. Have a little tact people or do you just not have a heart?

  7. since apparently its not a big deal how about you dress up at as a September 11 victim and see how society will react…

  8. This is an outrage. These students should be heavily penalized and considering one of them is a psychology major it is totally unacceptable. My daughter is a VT graduate and it is a great school that suffered a tradegy and should be honored not defamed.

  9. Seriously these kids are idiots. You know if it was VT students doing this if the the shooting had been at Penn State these kids would be pissed. They need to think about their actions and how it affects people. What kind of brain even thinks this would be funny?

  10. As a mother of a 9/11 victim, and a family friend of a Virginia Tech victim, I find this “VERY Disrespectful.” Every day is sad day for us. We are constantly reminded of these events through the media – Newspapers, TV. etc. To make this look like fun is despicable. Put yourselves in our shoes, and try to think about how you would feel if any of this happened to you or someone you knew or loved. I think a public apology is needed here.

  11. This is totally disgusting! That’s the problem now with this goddamed country, everybody thinks the first amendment is ” I can say to do what the fuck I want as long as I can get away with it and after all I’m so fucked up I don’t give a dam with how anyone else should feel. And we wonder why we are a second rate country, well shit like this is why. This is disgusting! I will never feel the same about this institution, PSU again, these are students but the atmosphere there allowed this kind of shit to take place. 32 dead VT students for no reason deserve better!!!!!

  12. As a person who was born and raised in the Penn State area and now resides in Hokie
    Country, all I can say is you cannot blame Penn State for these 2 students actions. I don’t
    blame VT for the shootings.(although if the would have taken action before hand when they discovered the first 2 victims, the outcome may have been different) ALL college
    campuses have their idiots, they are young and stupid. Do not put down one of the BEST
    schools in this country because of them!! Vt has had 32 students die and don’t forget
    the Asien guy that cut his girlfriend’s head off there. Oh, and the VICK brothers!!!

  13. Relax people, no need to get your panties in a bunch. It was just a joke, a bad joke. But a joke none-the-less.

  14. I don’t see everybody dressing up as columbine victims. And there were more people killed there. Do u not all see where all of these school shootings lead to. The school systems. Dug people open your eyes. It is terrible what happened in every school that ha s had a shooting or some kind of bullying suicide because half of these schools don’t watch for signs of any of these things. Wh at I’m tryin to say is people like that need to be prosecuted for that shot. Grow the fuck up for one and for two do u not realize eat it must have been like for the familes of the kids that had died in the vt shooting. And yur in college Damn man u must have went thro school by flying colors. I hope u burn in yell.

  15. This is literally the most disrespectful thing I have ever seen in my life. I am a Virginia Tech sophomore right now and I am appalled that someone would do something like this. All of the people in the comments saying “Take a joke” need to look at the big picture here. What if the people they are mocking was your son, daughter, friend, etc; then it wouldn’t be so funny, would it? There are plenty of ideas for Halloween without have to mock the lives of 32 individuals like this.

  16. As a member of the VT Staff, I am outraged that such insensitivity exists among ANY studentS at a very fine Pennsylvania insitute of higher learning. i only hope they “learned” from this experience that one should think twice before displaying their insensitivities. One of my best friends, a professor here at Tech transferred from Penn. State and as heavily embassed by the actions of these Penn. State students whom we all know do NOT represent, in any manner, how our collegues at Penn and other universities really feel about our tragedy here in Blacksburg, VA. College experiences are a time for learning, and I pray they have learned from this one. JPalmer

  17. I was there that day. I don’t care who you all are. Was it scary? Yeah. Does it just plain suck that 32 people died? Yeah. Did I learn something from the event? Not a damn thing. A tradegy you say? It is tragic, 32 innocent people died. Tragic. Do I care if they were from Virginia Tech, no. The tragedy is not that 32 students at Virginia Tech died. The tradegy, and I’ve now stated this twice, is 32 innocent people died.
    “I remember that day….” Blah blah blah. Get over it. I was there, but it has absolutely no consequence whatsoever to my everyday life. Am I happy to be alive? Yes. Do I feel like I should have died in someone else’s place? F*** No. Do I give a rat’s ass if someone wants to dress up like a person that has been shot? Not at all. Did anyone at that party give a crap? Maybe, but I have no doubt that people found the humor in it. People no doubt commented on their choice of attire and accepted it.
    I’ve served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I have seen my brothers in arms fall. I’ve had my own bullet wound. I would let others dress as swiss-cheesed servicemen. And you know why? Because it is of no consequence to me. There is no importance in it. I understand the emotion stirred from it, but still, there is no reason to fret.

  18. I am simply just sicken by this. My brother and my two best friends were victims of this heinous crime and I do not feel that if I were to dress up as a deceased family member or friend of theirs it would be at all funny! Please be respectful and mindful that this tragedy is still fresh in the entire community of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. I lose people who were very dear to me and not because they were fighting a war or saving lives but just because they were kids at school. Joke or no joke those were young lives that will never been be seen again.

  19. didn’t this happen like three or four years ago? Why are we revising it? I am Va Tech alum, and such a thing IS rather disgusting…but why mention it again and again?

  20. They just got exactly what they wanted. Just goes to show you the influence of media in America that this has got so much publicity when it should have not got any at all. Tasteless? Maybe, but these families and friends affected would have never found out or been hurt if it would not have been exploited into a media frenzy that runs our society today. If it doesn’t affect them before putting the costumes on then everyone’s comments on here sure as hell aren’t going to make them suddenly have a change of heart. Let it be and it should never have been blown this far out of proportion in the first place. Lets turn our focus to the real crisis we have going on in our country and less time focusing on what a couple college students in State College, PA are wearing for Halloween.

  21. I understand how outrageous this is, but this happened the year of the VT massacre, why is she writing about it September 1st of this year. Not to mention the fact that I argue the credibility of any publication, ‘ezine’ or otherwise, that spells the word ‘tragedy’ with a j.

  22. I can’t wait till these people try to get jobs in the real world – Who will be laughing about this joke then??? Good Luck!!

  23. The problem here is not the costume it’s that it represents a real person. Someone’s brother or sister. Would these people dress up as 9/11 victims or maybe someone who lost their battle with cancer? If these people had known someone who died so tragically and without reason they might think differently about wearing a costume that mocks someone’s childs horrible death.

  24. its just sad that college students would dress up like that considering that the victims were innocent college students. It is one thing to dress up as a dead person it is entirely different to dress up like brutal murder victims, especially ones who have been dead less than 10 years. Its not Penn State to blame but the students who did do it should feel like shit. I honestly hope that the Penn State student body does something about this – like take it to student court for public mis conduct. If it were not meant to be funny then what was the purpose? Its not cute, its not funny, it is in no way scary. it is simply ignorant. Use your Penn State education and find something better to do with your time please. I hope this follows these students wherever they go, they should be known as the assholes who dressed up like brutal murder victims, then they can feel like the victims families who will always be followed by the deaths of their loved ones.

  25. It seems to me that they prepared to defend their costumes. That tells me that the thought that what they were doing could have some sort of backlash (probably what they wanted) or the thought that it was just outright wrong has crossed their minds. This is just an insensitive media stunt as far as I’m concerned.

  26. This is absolutely ridiculous. They were wearing costumes that only their friends were supposed to see for christ sake. Everyone is acting as if these kids were the ones who perpetrated the shootings!

    I don’t know about all the other “outraged” students, but if my friend had dressed like that for Halloween I wouldn’t have called him out for being in bad taste. I would have laughed like most people. Though few will admit it in public. Hypocrites.

  27. Oh man do I remember when this happend, the costumes not the shooting, I remember people calling for them to get kicked out or burned blah blah blah, n now all these years later people are still pissed, lmao don’t you get it, this was the point of the costume, to go down as those guys who pissed off the Internet with a photo, guess who’s going as the 1% this year just to piss off all the Wana be ows clowns, it’s Halloween people take a break n eat a kitkat

  28. this happened five years ago. it was a horrible thing, but i don’t know why it’s being presented as current.

  29. to those who are making a fuss, you are all pathetic. you are bringing more negative attention to the deaths of these students than the people who wore the costumes. who said it was meant to “mock” victims. it was a costume. I see dead people resembling real dead people every Halloween and u don’t see that in the news. I understand how it could be upsetting to families of the victims. HOWEVER… HOW LONG DO U THINK THOSE PEOPLE STARED AT THESE PICTURES? It was stupid to post to Facebook, but the people making a fuss, never should have seen these pictures. If all you have to say is how horrible it is, why, when you were told about it; did u look the friggen pictures up and stare at them while thinking of as many negative comments as you could think of. you brought this to the attention of as many people as possible. if it is so offensive, you should have instead attempted to contain it. not spread it. you dumb people make me sicker than these creative yet not-so-smart students

  30. you say this shouldnt have happened because they were young lives that will never be returned…….so a ” young dead druggie costume” would be just as offensive right? more people are affected by drug related teen deaths than almost anything else, yet you see costumes like this constantly. what about those people’s families? should we get rid of any costumes like that, and attack anyone who wears one because it is ” disrespectful”? you can not pick and choose people. one unnecessary death is no more heinous than any other. the feelings of the people who are complaining should not be held above the many other people who lose their sons or daughters to gang violence, drugs, or otherwise every day in our country. GROW UP. everyone has lost, and everyone has felt some form of disrespect for those they lost. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE. YOU ARE DISRESPECTFUL FOR FIGHTING THIS BUT LETTING ALL THE OTHER DEATHS BE “mocked” (as u see it) by costumes and otherwise.

  31. >> It was just a joke. Relax.

    Oh, ok. Whew. I’m glad it was just a joke. Because I was totally thinking the people supporting this are a bunch of sick, heartless fucks. So glad you clarified that. Ha. Ha.

  32. I guess after the last few days of the embarassment and humiliation that kids have gone thru from high authority at Penn State…..You should be disgusted and ashamed of yourself as should be you parents…..Tell them to put themselves in the place of the victims
    of VA Tech. Grow up and think of feelings instead of wanting to be funny at a stupid Halloween party…Have you ever lost a friend to such a tragedy…probably not…but mark
    my words one day you will and won’t be laughing. Penn State will be paying a huge price for many years because of choices…both with adminstrtation and students….
    so sorry for your choices. I onlu hope your parents see this and are SO PROUD.

  33. How about a Penn State victims costume? Someone could dress as an adolescent boy running out of a locker-room with blood on the backside of his underpants!

  34. I go to VT and I can’t believe someone would think this is funny. I have a sick sense of humor but come on that is ridiculous… But since it has been done I guess I am going to have to go to as a Penn State molestation victim in 2012… One wrong turn doesn’t deserve another but at least our coach didn’t get fired.

  35. Now V Tech students can dress like joe paterno and walk around with 10 year old boys for halloween

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