Club & Greek

Memorial Vigil for Dane Fante

default article imageFeb. 3 marked the official one-year anniversary of the death of Dane Matthew Fante, a well-known and loved Monmouth student was killed in a fatal car accident after leaving a fraternity party. To show support, the Monmouth University community hosted a vigil in Anacon Hall in remembrance of Fante on Feb. 6.

Every seat was filled and there were numerous students standing. Many students involved with Greek life, athletic teams, and campus organizations attended.

Fante was riding passenger to Jose Rivera, another brother of Tau Kappa Epsilon from Lyndhurts, NJ. Both men were intoxicated. The sedan they were driving veered off the road and struck a tree.

Fante was rushed to Monmouth Medical Center and pronounced dead shortly after. Rivera was treated at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for non-life threatening injuries.

Tau Kappa Epsilon was shut down by their national chapter and by the University in the spirng 2018 semester following the news of Dane’s death and for hazing allegations.

Tara Layser, a senior social work student and the girlfriend of Fante, spoke at the event. “The first few weeks Dane was gone, I isolated myself from everyone I loved, and laid in bed, just so mad at the world.”

As anyone would assume, this type of tragedy would drive anyone to a similar reaction.

Although this was an extremely devasting event in Layser’s life, she was able to be an optimist. “We get the opportunity to live and be happy, and most importantly, we are able to make an impact on the people around us.”

Layser had spoken about how Fante was such a kind and genuine person, as well as how he never took life too seriously. She stated, “The little things that happen today aren’t going to matter down the road, so why dwell on them now?”

Following the impactful speech given by Layser, students who attended signed stones in the back of Anacon and left messages for Dane and his family. These stones have been placed under a tree outside the Student Center.

Michael Brown, a senior business management student, friend, and fraternity brother of Dane, spoke about Fante as well as how the event as a whole made an impact for the Monmouth community.

When asked about the event, Brown said, “I thought it was an awesome turn out. All of the seats were filled, so it shows that people really care.” Brown also spoke about meeting Fante and how well he was able to fit in with others. “He was so easy to get along with, and so cool to hang out with.  Every time you saw him, it wasn’t just a hello.  He knew you on a personal level which showed he cared.  That’s not something you get with a lot of people anymore.”

Layser and her friend, Ann Marie Maneates, a sophomore English education student, spoke about how they thought the event as a whole went.

Layser stated, “It’s important to show people you love them while they’re still here.  It was very sudden, but I let Dane know I loved him every day and I think people should be doing the same.”

Maneates said, “This event brought awareness [to a serious issue]. It was able to lighten it up a bit without it being so cold and forgotten. It was a great way for everyone to remember him.”

Maneates also stated, “Anyone would want to be remembered for what they did, and you would hope if this were to happen to you, that others would be doing the same for you.”

The Fante family has asked for donations to the Burlington County Animal Shelter in memory of Dane.