BGSU permanently expels Pi Kappa Alpha after student death
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Bowling Green State University has handed down a decision in the case against Pi Kappa Alpha, the fraternity accused of hazing in the death of sophomore Stone Foltz on March 7. The fraternity has been immediately expelled from the university.
According to a statement from a university spokesperson, the fraternity was found guilty of all six conduct charges against them. The punishment means the fraternity will never again be recognized on the campus.
The statement reads, in part:
BGSU also released a video statement from President Rodney Rogers.
Foltz was found unresponsive in his Bowling Green apartment on March 4. Reports said he had spent the evening at an off-campus fraternity event. Since the incident, the fraternity was been placed on interim suspension and an investigation by the university resulted in six Code of Conduct violation charges levied against the organization. On Tuesday, the fraternity chose not to move forward with a hearing on those charges.
“The decisions made by Bowling Green State University President Rodney Rogers to expel and permanently ban Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity from the campus and to improve their anti-hazing efforts are good first steps, but they are expected,” said Rex Elliott and Sean Alto, attorneys for the Foltz family. “We have a long way to go to reach our goal of eliminating even the most minimal act of hazing on college campuses everywhere. Stone’s death at the hands of fraternity members hazing him and other pledges was reckless and inhumane. On behalf of Stone and his family, we will not stop until there is a zero-tolerance anti-hazing policy on every college campus in this country.”
The fraternity also had its charter suspended and revoked by the national chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, and all undergraduate members have been expelled from PIKE. In a statement from PIKE’s national chapter, a spokesperson said, “Suspension means the chapter may no longer operate in the name of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity or use the Fraternity’s name or symbols. The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity has a zero-tolerance policy toward hazing, illegal activity, substance abuse, and bullying.”
On Wednesday, the Lucas County Coroner’s Office ruled Foltz’s death accidental “due to a college fraternity induction ritual,” and stated that the cause of death was “fatal ethanol intoxication during hazing incident.” Foltz’s blood-alcohol level on the day he was brought to the hospital was reportedly 0.394, nearly five times the legal limit, and the attorneys for his family believe it was much higher earlier in the evening.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Stone’s mother said they hold the fraternity responsible for their son’s death. Their attorneys have stated that they do not believe the coroner’s report to paint a complete picture and say it “has no value and doesn’t impact anything criminally.”
His death has sparked new debate about hazing and Greek Life on college campuses. Students at BGSU have demanded the administration take action against all Greek houses, citing concerns they have about both hazing and sexual assault and harassment. Meanwhile, lawmakers at both the state and national level have introduced new and updated legislation that looks to curb hazing activities on college campuses through harsher criminal punishments.
So far, no criminal action has been filed as a result of Stone’s death.
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