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Fraternity Hazing Statistics

Fraternity Hazing Recap: 2016

67 Fraternities Suspended, 4 Deaths Attributed to Hazing

The new year means that it’s time to chronicle the previous year’s record of fraternity activities on the nation’s college campuses. As usual, the available record of fraternity behavior should cause parents who are footing the bills so their son can belong to one fraternity or another to reconsider the soundness of their investment in their son’s future.

There were 67 confirmed suspensions, or outright expulsions from campus, in 2016. All but a handful of such actions included underage drinking, or some other violation of a school’s alcoholic beverage policies, as at least one of the reasons for the fraternity’s expulsion, suspension, or banishment into the off-campus hinterlands. For 2016, leader board looks like this:

  • Pi Kappa Phi: 8
  • Pi Kappa Alpha: 3
  • Kappa Alpha: 3
  • Alpha Phi Alpha: 3 (1 death)
  • Sigma Nu: 3 (2 deaths)
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon: 3
  • Delta Tau Delta: 2

Schools which had apparently reached the limits of their tolerance for fraternal foolishness in 2016 were led by the University of South Carolina and Texas State University with four each. To be fair, all four Texas State suspensions were related to the death the previous year of a 20 year-old woman who was apparently, and literally, thrown under a bus. Miami of Ohio and West Virginia came in at three each, followed by LSU, Florida State and a host of others with two suspensions of a fraternity each.

Two schools, Tufts University and UC Berkeley, went so far as to cancel most Greek activities (fraternity and sorority) on campus for at least part of a semester due to concerns over student safety (a possible serial rapist on or near the campus at Berkeley and a combination of drunken pledges coupled with reports of brutal hazings at Tufts).

Deaths Attributed to Hazing

  • Buffalo State, Alpha Phi Alpha

According to news reports, 21 year-old Bradley Doyley died on February 18, 2016, at a Buffalo hospital where he had been admitted with gastrointestinal bleeding. According to family and friends, Doyley had been ill for about a month and that the illness began after he had consumed a “cocktail” containing alcohol and one or more unknown substances during a fraternity initiation sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha in January.

The fraternity was suspended (but later reinstated) within days of Doyley’s death and a police investigation concluded that no “foul play” appeared to be involved, a conclusion that was hotly disputed by Doyley’s family.

  • Ferrum (VA) College Sigma Kappa Alpha

In the early morning hours of April 17, 2016, 20-year-old Michael Anthony Walker was found on the unconscious and in respiratory distress on the front porch of the off-campus Sigma Alpha Kappa fraternity house. According to news reports, EMS personnel administered CPR to Walker, who was eventually transported to Roanoke (VA) Carillion Memorial Hospital where he died eight days later.

Six people were later indicted by a grand jury on charges of hazing or other offenses related to Walker’s death. One of those indicted had used his cellphone to take pictures of a passed out, but apparently still alive, Walker in the hours prior to his discovery on the front porch of the fraternity house.

Three of the six fraternity members entered guilty pleas to misdemeanor charges and were ordered to serve between 4 and 30 days in jail. The court dismissed the charges for the other three members that had originally been indicted. The frat member who photographed Walker, rather than come to his aid, did the 30-day stretch in the local jail.

  • Texas A&M, Sigma Nu

At 5:00 a.m. on August 20, 2016, EMS personnel found 19 year-old Anton Gridnev to be in full cardiac arrest and lying at the front door of the Sigma Nu fraternity house. Despite all attempts to revive him, Gridnev was pronounced DOA at a local hospital. An autopsy later confirmed that Gridnev died from a drug overdose and that “several types” of opiates were detected by toxicology testing.

College Station (TX) police said that evidence indicated that Gridnev was moved inside by people at Sigma Nu fraternity house before police arrived and that recorded 911 calls indicated someone at the Sigma Nu house had made calls to a local hospital prior to the arrival of EMS and police, with those calls suggesting that Gridnev had overdosed. Gridnev had been celebrating his 19th birthday in the hours prior to his death.

Ten people were ultimately arrested on various charges (possession, possession with intent to distribute, etc) that were related to Gridnev’s death.

  • University of Nevada at Reno, Sigma Nu

During a night of alcohol-fueled partying 18 year-old Ryan Abele was found unconscious, apparently following a fall, at the bottom of the stairs leading to the basement of University of Nevada at Reno chapter of Sigma Nu. Abele died 12 days later, on October 28, 2016, without regaining consciousness.

The school’s recognition of the local chapter of Sigma Nu was revoked for a period of 15 years, and the fraternity’s national headquarters later permanently revoked the local chapter’s charter. The police found no evidence of foul play and no one was charged in relation to Abele's death.

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