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Police Investigating Whether Fraternity Hazing Led to Death of Bowling Green Student

The fraternity said it had a “a zero-tolerance policy toward illegal activity, substance abuse, bullying and hazing of any kind,” adding, “We refuse to defend or condone any behavior that creates dangerous environments or situations” for its members. The organization said it would pursue “permanent suspension” of the chapter at Bowling Green and all of its members there.

Schools and universities define hazing somewhat differently but largely recognize it as a form of physical injury or exposure to risk, often associated with a student’s effort to join a recognized fraternity or sorority. At times, those activities have turned deadly.

Collin Wiant, an 18-year-old Ohio University student, died during an off-campus fraternity event in 2018. Timothy Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore at Penn State University, died in 2017 after drinking a large quantity of alcohol while pledging a fraternity. Also in 2017, Maxwell Gruver, an 18-year-old student at Louisiana State University, died after he became extremely intoxicated during a fraternity initiation ritual.

The university said in a statement on Saturday said that there would be “a full inquiry into each Greek chapter’s prevention and compliance responsibilities under university policies prohibiting hazing.”

Bowling Green will also “consult with outside third parties to conduct a broader review of student organizations and activities,” Rodney K. Rogers, president of the university, and Joe B. Whitehead, Jr., provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs, said in a joint statement on Saturday.

By Sunday morning, the giant Greek letters on the exterior of the fraternity’s house in Bowling Green had been removed. “Given that Pi Kappa Alpha is not currently recognized as a registered student organization, the fraternity’s Greek letters were removed from its on-campus residence this morning,” Alex D. Solis, a spokesman for the university, said on Sunday.

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