Rushville Republican

Community News Network

October 16, 2013

Fraternities scuttle recruiting ban prompted by drinking deaths

(Continued)

Of the 24 fraternity-related freshman deaths since 2005, 15 occurred during and after recruiting events, including hazing and initiation rituals.

At Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, freshman David Bogenberger died last year of alcohol poisoning after a fraternity initiation rite known as "Mom and Dad's Night." With other pledges, Bogenberger moved from room to room at the chapter house answering questions from members and downing vodka before passing out, court records show.

Fraternities have taken steps to protect students, including banning alcohol at recruiting events and supporting sanctions against violators, said Peter Smithhisler, president of the Interfraternity Conference.

While drinking deaths at fraternities are "heartbreaking," many students drink too much, not just at fraternities, he said. Keeping out freshmen merely puts a "Band-Aid" on a broader campus problem, he said. It also deprives freshmen of opportunities at fraternities for leadership, career networking and charitable work, he said.

"It would be a travesty if the fraternity experience were not available for the development of these young men," Smithhisler said. "We believe in the fraternity experience and its ability to really transform an undergraduate into better men, better citizens, better doctors, teachers, engineers."

If colleges are allowed to restrict recruitment for a semester or a year, they could next extend the delay through sophomore year, or even shut down fraternities, as some liberal arts institutions have done, he said.

"Recruitment is the lifeblood for every chapter," Smithhisler said.

Carson Starkey, whose death prompted the Cal Poly ban, hadn't planned on joining a fraternity until he arrived at the public university of 19,000 on the central California coast. One out of six undergraduates there participate in Greek life.

The clean-cut, curly-haired 18-year-old from Austin, Texas, knew no one on campus, and the opportunity to bond with fraternity brothers soon appealed to him. He chose to pledge Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the largest fraternities, with chapters on almost 230 campuses in the U.S. and Canada.

Text Only
Community News Network
Featured Ads
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.