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Ohio college student dies amid alleged hazing incident, fraternity chapter suspended

Bowling Green student was pledging Pi Kappa Alpha
Bowling Green fratnerity
Posted at 9:22 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 14:27:28-05

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green State University handed down an interim suspension to one of its campus fraternities Friday due to an alleged hazing activity that resulted in the death of a student.

Stone Foltz, a BGSU student, was hospitalized Thursday after "alleged hazing activity involving alcohol consumption" at an off-campus Pi Kappa Alpha event. He was in critical condition at the ProMedica Toledo Hospital for three days, according to ABC News.

"The death of Stone Foltz is a tragedy," a Foltz family attorney said in a statement. "He was a beloved son, brother, and grandson. At this time we are gathering all of the facts leading to his untimely death and we have no interest in commenting on speculation. However, we do ask that you please show respect and consideration for Stone’s family. Despite their unbearable grief, they agreed to donate Stone’s organs so that others may have a second chance at life."

Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity was placed on an interim suspension, according to school officials.

"We are working with local law enforcement, who are actively taking the lead in investigating this unfolding situation," the university said in a statement released on Facebook.

The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity confirmed that the incident happened at its Delta Beta Chapter in Bowling Green and it involved "alcohol-related hazing at an off-campus event."

"We have immediately placed this chapter on administrative suspension and advised its leaders to cooperate fully with University administration and local law enforcement. As more details are confirmed, we will also pursue permanent suspension of Delta Beta Chapter as well as expulsion of all chapter members from the International Fraternity," the national organization said in a statement.

The university said police are investigating the matter. The school didn't provide specifics regarding the incident.

School officials said they met with student leaders Saturday morning to "decide the short- and long-term future of fraternity and sorority life at BGSU."

The university said all other student organizations will also be reviewed.

Rad the full statement from BGSU below:

"Yesterday, Bowling Green State University placed Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity on interim suspension for alleged hazing activity. We are working with local law enforcement, who are actively taking the lead in investigating this unfolding situation.

This tragic incident has certainly impacted our students and community. BGSU is committed to not just the student conduct and law enforcement investigations, but a full inquiry into each Greek chapter’s prevention and compliance responsibilities under University policies prohibiting hazing. These University processes and policies have been established to set high expectations and standards and to enforce compliance and ensure the safety of all students. This morning, we began to meet with our student leaders to decide the short- and long-term future of fraternity and sorority life at BGSU. In the days to come, we will also be reviewing all other student organizations.

Above all, we remain committed to supporting the hospitalized student’s family and friends. They are living every loved one’s worst nightmare, and we owe them the utmost respect and privacy at this time.

While our community deserves a space to process this tragic incident and we cannot censor freedom of speech, we strongly encourage those who are sharing their opinions and potentially misleading details on social media to cease and recognize that the student’s family and friends are in those same spaces reliving the trauma and grief from these comments."

Pi Kappa Alpha issued the following statement regarding the incident:

The International Fraternity is heartbroken about the death of Stone Foltz, a student and unreported new member of the Delta Beta Chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). No family should have to endure such a devastating loss. The International Fraternity joins Stone’s family and friends in their grief and extends its deepest and sincere sympathy to all of those affected by this senseless tragedy.

The Fraternity has a zero-tolerance policy toward illegal activity, substance abuse, bullying, and hazing of any kind. Let us reiterate in the strongest terms: We refuse to defend or condone any behavior that creates dangerous environments or situations for our members or the larger campus community at any of our 200+ chapters in the United States and abroad.

We have immediately placed this chapter on administrative suspension and advised its leaders to cooperate fully with University administration and local law enforcement. As more details are confirmed, we will also pursue permanent suspension of Delta Beta Chapter as well as expulsion of all chapter members from the International Fraternity.

The International Fraternity will cooperate fully with authorities as this incident is investigated and will consider every possible course of action to hold the chapter and individual members accountable to the fullest extent in accordance with the International Fraternity Constitution and Codes.

Any member of Pi Kappa Alpha should immediately and confidentially report any hazing or potential hazing or other harmful activity to their chapter consultant, director of service, or the International Fraternity here.

PIKE does not tolerate hazing.

The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity Standards include a standard of absolutely no hazing. Hazing is unacceptable conduct and each member affirms not to engage in any form of hazing as a condition of membership. In addition, hazing is illegal.

All members or new members should refuse to participate in any hazing activity and, more importantly, refuse to permit hazing being inflicted upon them. If anyone approaches you and asks you to participate in an activity that you think is hazing:

· You shall refuse to participate in hazing; and

· Know that such refusal will not place your membership in Pi Kappa Alpha at risk; and

· Immediately report it to a chapter officer. If an officer is not available, then report it to another member who is not involved in the activity; and

· Notify your chapter consultant, director of service, or complete this form.

Some activities are obvious, such as attempted physical abuse, whereas other activities may be more subtle and may require an interpretation. Either way, you should be assured that no adverse action will be taken against you by the attempted “hazer” or by a chapter with regard to your membership. We want you to understand your rights and not be intimidated. Furthermore, all members have a personal responsibility not to condone any sort of hazing.

Experience has proven that new member education is one of the most important programming areas for a fraternity. In evaluating the long-term success and stability of any chapter, those chapters that exert the necessary time and energy into the development of a constructive, non-hazing, new member education program encounter the most prosperity. These groups initiate undergraduates who understand their fraternal responsibilities as active members and have the tools to immediately contribute to the success of the chapter.

Reactions

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued the following statement Monday:

State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today issued the following statement regarding the hazing incident that resulted in the death of Stone Foltz, a Bowling Green State University student:

"Just like every parent, I am saddened and sickened by this senseless tragedy. I am committed to working with my colleagues in the coming days to sponsor legislation that addresses a much needed change of campus culture."

This story was originally published by Drew Scofield on WEWS in Cleveland.