LSU has officially suspended all Fraternity and Sorority functions indefinitely; following the death of Freshman Maxwell Gruver in in a “possible hazing incident” the school police say.
An autopsy report came back stating that Gruver had “highly elevated” blood alcohol levels when he was found at Phi Delta Theta’s Fraternity function.
There have been many deaths in recent years due to hazing, and schools should be taking major steps to improve the safety of Greek Life at schools.
The Phi Delta Theta fraternity has had similar issues before. In 1998 Courtney Cantor fell to her death at a sorority function after increased blood alcohol levels. This original issue prompted the Phi Delta Theta community to prohibit alcohol from all of its 190 chapters nationwide.
This policy, issued almost twenty years ago, has not been heavily implemented and continues to be a major issue within many Greek life clubs.
According to NBC News, along with alcohol, Phi Delta Theta allegedly has taken pledges into the woods blind-folded, and forced them to find their way back, forced pledges to consume foods that are not made for eating, and started a fight club and forced pledges to join.
This is not the only Greek life club having major issues. Timothy Piazza, a freshmen at Penn State died at a Beta Theta Pi party last year. Which provoked national attention and outrage.
One way to improve Greek life is to ensure heavy supervisions over major functions. When you allow students, with a new-found sense of independence, attend parties unsupervised, in many cases, rebellious actions will be taken, which can prove to be fatal.
The issue with school officials supervising these events is that usually these club events are held on private property and cannot be accessed without permission.
A way to combat the dangers in hazing is to simply ban it. Allow members to join without an initiation process. Since this “initiation” usually is what gets out of hand and dangerous.
Arguments to this, is the idea is that “initiation” is a long-standing tradition, and these traditions are very hard to break without major back-lash. Some traditions are meant to be changed.
Awareness must be brought to this issue facing our country’s colleges today.
These “easily preventable deaths” can be prevented if incoming freshmen are aware of their actions and the consequences that ensue from them. All must understand that hazing is not just a harmless tradition.
It will help if school officials crack down in any way possible when they see the possibility of a dangerous situation within a club and find a way to access and monitor these events.