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Home Campus Life VCU Expels Fraternity for Involvement in Student Death

VCU Expels Fraternity for Involvement in Student Death

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Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has banned a fraternity from operating on campus after a freshman pledge died at one of its parties due to alcohol poisoning. 

The university announced Thursday that Delta Chi has been expelled after its student organization conduct committee found the fraternity guilty of violating school policies on alcohol use and hazing.

“VCU is committed to closely reviewing that report, when complete, for possible additional organizational or individual violations of university policies and to identify additional opportunities to strengthen our policies and procedures for fraternity and sorority life,” the statement read.

The investigation surrounding the death of Adam Oakes, a freshman from Loudoun County, continues and Richmond police have not made any arrests. However, the young man’s family lauded the move, saying that the expulsion was a “small but mighty step forward in protecting VCU students.”

Fraternity Problems

Oakes, 19, was found dead at an off-campus location on February 27. The medical examiner ruled that his death was caused by alcohol poisoning, and according to the family, Delta Chi had held a fraternity party the night before. 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Oakes was given a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey and told to drink it. He soon collapsed on a couch inside the residence without anyone knowing that something had gone wrong until the following day. 

VCU immediately suspended the Delta Chi chapter for violating policies prohibiting alcohol during the pandemic. 

“This permanent removal as a recognized student organization is another important step in holding fraternities and sororities at VCU accountable for organizational misconduct,” the university said.

The fraternity had already had numerous allegations of violating campus policies, including organizing illegal parties, unauthorized student recruitment, and failing to achieve minimum grade standards.

VCU has hired Dyad Strategies to investigate Greek culture within the university, and an initial report is expected this summer.

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