Ohio college student dies after alleged hazing incident, fraternity suspended

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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (NewsNation Now) — A Bowling Green State University student died Sunday after an “alleged hazing” incident.

The fraternity on the campus is on an interim suspension after 20-year-old Stone Foltz was hospitalized Saturday in an alcohol-related incident.

“The death of Stone Foltz is a tragedy. 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,” attorney Sean Alto said in a statement released to NewsNation affiliate WJW.

Alto announced Saturday that Foltz’s family agreed to donate his organs “so others may have a second chance at life.”

The university said it was working with law enforcement investigating Pi Kappa Alpha in what the fraternity’s parent organization called “an alleged incident of alcohol-related hazing at an off-campus event” that left officials “horrified and outraged.”

The parent organization said the case involved “a student and an unreported new member” of the Delta Beta chapter. The Toledo Blade reports that the term refers to someone who has not gone through the initiation process, and the student was seeking to join the fraternity commonly known as “Pike.”

“This tragic incident has certainly impacted our students and community,” the university said on Twitter, adding that officials were meeting with student leaders “to decide the short- and long-term future of fraternity and sorority life” at the school.

“In the days to come, we will also be reviewing all other student organizations,” the university said.

Officials also urged people to moderate their comments and not share “potentially misleading” details on social media, saying the hospitalized student’s family and friends “are living every loved one’s worst nightmare, and we owe them the utmost respect and privacy at this time.”

The national chapter of the fraternity also announced an administrative suspension of the chapter, advised leaders to cooperate with the probe and vowed to pursue permanent suspension of the chapter and expulsion of members “as more details are confirmed.”

“The fraternity has a zero-tolerance policy toward illegal activity, substance abuse, bullying, and hazing of any kind,” the Memphis, Tennessee-based parent organization said in a statement. “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-plus chapters in the United States and abroad.”

The North American Interfraternity Conference, which is the national trade associated of college fraternities, issued a statement to NewsNation Sunday regarding the incident:

While the circumstances surrounding this incident at Bowling Green State is still under investigation, we must be clear that hazing is a betrayal of the fraternal vows to which every member commits and has no place on campus. When hard alcohol is added to the mix, it is a formula for tragedy.

The North American Interfraternity Conference is partnered with Kathleen Wiant whose son Collin died in 2018 at Ohio University and other parents of hazing victims to educate about hazing and advocate for stronger laws. Our efforts include advancing the END ALL Hazing Act in Congress and making hazing a felony through state legislation including Collin’s Law now before the Ohio State Legislature.

Todd Shelton, Chief Communication Officer, North american interfraternity conference

Bowling Green State University’s issued a statement regarding the incident:

“Bowling Green State University is aware of alleged hazing activity involving alcohol consumption at a Pi Kappa Alpha off-campus event on March 4. We have placed this fraternity on interim suspension as we work with local law enforcement, who are actively taking the lead in investigating this serious situation. We want to express our care and support of our students and community affected.”

Alex Solis, Deputy Chief of Staff and University Spokesperson, Bowling Green State University

This is the second incident of a suspected alcohol-related hazing at a fraternity event in less than a week.

Last week, 19-year old Adam Oakes, a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University, died after being found unresponsive following a Delta Chi fraternity party.

His family suspected he was hazed during initiation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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