A sophomore at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio died after drinking at a fraternity event, an attorney for his family said.
Stone Foltz, 20, was given “a copious amount of alcohol,” attorney Sean Alto told The Columbus Dispatch.
In a statement to CNN on Sunday, Mr Alto called Foltz’s death “a tragedy”.
“He was a beloved son, brother, and grandson,” Mr Alto said.
“At this time we are gathering all of the facts leading to his untimely death and we have no interest in commenting on speculation.”
Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity issued a statement Monday saying the fraternity has a zero-tolerance policy toward illegal activity, including substance abuse and hazing, and has placed the BGSU chapter on administrative suspension.
A spokesperson for BGSU told CNN that it has also placed its chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha on interim suspension.
“The local law enforcement and university investigations are ongoing,” Alex Solis, a BGSU spokesperson, told CNN in an email statement.
“However, I can confirm that we have placed Pi Kappa Alpha on interim suspension for alleged hazing activity.”
On Saturday, the university said in a series of tweets that it met with “student leaders to decide the short- and long-term future of fraternity and sorority life at BGSU”.
“BGSU is committed to not just the student conduct and law enforcement investigations, but a full inquiry into each Greek chapter’s prevention and compliance responsibilities under University policies prohibiting hazing,” the university wrote.
Governor Mike DeWine said Monday that he supports a bill to reform hazing laws.
Foltz’s “tragic and senseless death should remind us all of the moral imperative for us to drive hazing out of the state of Ohio. It’s a moral imperative that we do this, that we do not tolerate it,” the governor said.
The governor said he spoke with state Sen. Stephanie Kunze, a fellow Republican, who has been working on such a bill.
“I support her efforts,” Mr DeWine said.
“And she reminded me that hazing has many victims, and that those who die from hazing, or end up in the hospital, are not the only victims. Other victims are those who have long-term mental health challenges as a direct result from hazing.”
Former state Rep. Dave Greenspan told CNN Cleveland affiliate WEWS: “This is an important issue we must tackle,” he said.
“Right now in Ohio, the definition of hazing is a low-level misdemeanor.”
“Every day that goes by is one day too long,” Mr Greenspan said of the lack of stiffer laws. He spent years trying to push through such legislation, WEWS said.
A bill to to get tougher on the problem did not win approval in the 2020 legislative session.
Legislation calls for a second-degree felony for some instances of aggravated hazing and would require the chancellor of higher education to formulate a plan for preventing hazing at colleges and universities.
Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity said it was “heartbroken” by Foltz’s death and it extended sympathy to “all of those affected by this senseless tragedy.”
It said it has advised chapter leaders to cooperate with the university and law enforcement.
“We will also pursue permanent suspension of Delta Beta Chapter as well as expulsion of all chapter members from the International Fraternity,” the statement said
Duncan Faulk, Foltz’s freshman roommate at BGSU, mourned his friend.
“It’s hard to imagine my life without him,” Mr Faulk told CNN affiliate WTVG.
“He’s been there since I’ve grown up, and having him as a friend is one of the only things I’ve always know. It’s just going to be hard to know he’s not going to be there doing the things he enjoyed doing. I’m just really, really going to miss him.”
Foltz’s family was able to donate his organs, Mr Alto said.
Bowling Green State University students recently gathered at the campus’ Greek village to mourn the loss of Mr Foltz.
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