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14 frat organizations suspended after student death

by Courtney Deeren - Lifestyles Editor
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 09:00 pm
San Diego State University's fraternity drive (above) is currently suspended from any of the college's fraternity activity following the death of a student who participated in a fraternity-based event.
San Diego State University's fraternity drive (above) is currently suspended from any of the college's fraternity activity following the death of a student who participated in a fraternity-based event.

San Diego State University’s (SDSU) fraternities are suspended after the death of a student who attended a fraternity event on the campus. 

NBC San Diego reported on Monday, Nov. 11, the death was the result of the student falling from their bed. 

“The Medical Examiner said Hernandez fell from an elevated bunk bed in his dorm Thursday morning and was helped back to his bed. Later that morning, he was found not breathing and pulseless by his roommate and 911 was called.”

Dylan Hernandez, the 19-year-old freshman from Jacksonville, Florida, was pronounced dead Friday, Nov. 8, at a college area hospital. 

According to the San Diego county medical examiner report, the death was ruled an accident by way of accidental blunt force trauma to the head. 

Hernandez was reportedly pledging Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, according to kusi.com. NBC San Diego reported on the statement by Phi Gamma Delta’s Executive Director Rob Caudill. 

“We are devastated by the loss of one of our own, and we extend our deepest condolences to Dylan’s family, friends and classmates,” Caudill said. “We are working with the university and cooperating with investigators to gather all the relevant facts about what transpired. Our highest priority is the safety of our members and anyone associated with our organization, and we have strict risk management policies governing alcohol use and safety concerns. We have placed this chapter on suspension pending our review process, and if it is determined that any of our policies were violated, we will take immediate and appropriate action.” 

According to Huffpost, University President Adela de la Torre made a statement Monday saying she suspended the university’s Interfraternity Council and all 14 chapter organizations. 

Six of the frats were already under suspension for unrelated matters, and four others were under investigation, according to the university. 

“This factored into President de la Torre’s decision,” the school stated. “We expect all of our students to uphold our institutional values and the student code of conduct. For those involved in fraternity and sorority programs, we expect our students to also honor the policies of their local and national chapters, and the distinct values of their organizations.”

Some of the infractions that led to the suspension of a chapter include discrimination, disorderly behavior, serving alcohol at sponsored events, drug use and failure to have insurance for a major event.

Just 123 miles north of SDSU, the University of Southern California (USC) is dealing with its own crisis. Over the past three months, USC has seen nine student deaths, three of which are attributed to suicide. The remaining are undetermined or the families haven’t wanted the information released. 

Johns Hopkins University psychiatry professor, Dr. Paul Nestadt commented on this issue saying “we as a nation are in the midst of a suicide problem.” This number is in line with national statistics, according to Nestadt. 

While both of these stories are alarming, it brings to light some of the glaring modern issues facing college students. Not only is the nation in the midst of a mental health epidemic, students are also going into college unaware of the detriments of drinking in excess. It’s unrealistic to expect students to not attend parties their freshman year or face hardships throughout their semesters and allowing them to go in unprepared is not doing anyone any good.

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