College bans, expels 20 students in fraternity hazing death
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A university in Ohio on Friday banned or suspended 20 students following its investigation into the death of a fraternity pledge who drank an excessive amount of alcohol during an alleged hazing ritual.
Bowling Green State University in a statement said the students broke student conduct rules covering hazing, harming others and providing alcohol.
Three of the students were permanently banned from the university while 17 others were suspended for periods of three to eight years. Another student received a deferred suspension.
Eight current or former members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Bowling Green already were indicted on criminal charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to hazing in the death of 20-year-old Stone Foltz.
Foltz, who was joining the fraternity, was found unconscious by a roommate after a party in March and died three days later.
Foltz died after drinking an entire bottle of bourbon and could not walk on his own afterward, according to the findings from a law firm hired by the university.
The investigation said the fraternity members who organized the event were well aware of how dangerous it could be, going as far as setting up trash cans for vomiting and telling pledges to let professors know they likely would not be in class the next day.
The report found no evidence that the pledges were required to drink the entire bottle. But it said there was a tradition of new members finishing or attempting to finish a bottle and Foltz was under the impression he needed to do so as part of the pledge process.
Foltz’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the fraternity and several of its members. The university expelled the fraternity and said it would never again be recognized on campus.
The university on Friday also released a broad plan to crack down on hazing, hire a hazing prevention coordinator and work more closely with law enforcement.