Critics call for the end of Greek life on campuses amid recent deaths, other scandals

U.S.

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A nationwide movement to abolish Greek life on college campuses is picking up speed after multiple incidents involving fraternity hazing, binge drinking, drugging and even death.

Just this week in Virginia, 11 people have been indicted and charged in the hazing death of a Virginia Commonwealth University freshman. 

Adam Oakes died of alcohol poisoning in February, a day after a hazing ritual where Oakes’ family alleges he was forced to drink a large amount of Jack Daniel’s. At one point, he was blindfolded, which caused him to run into a tree and hit his head. 

The Delta Chi fraternity at VCU has since been suspended.  

On the campus of Washington State University, three former fraternity members have been sentenced to eight months probation after pleading guilty to supplying alcohol to a minor. This happened on the same night Sam Martinez, 19, died of alcohol poisoning at an initiation event.

Martinez was allegedly given a half-gallon bottle of alcohol and told to drink it by the end of the evening. Washington State University suspended the fraternity until 2026.

Fifteen people have been charged in connection with the event and Martinez’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university and the fraternity Alpha Tau Omega.

And in Evanston, Illinois, on the campus of Northwestern University, police are investigating allegations of women being drugged without consent.

One of the fraternities in question, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, was in its first year back from a yearlong suspension after four women reported they were drugged at a party in 2017.

Investigators are also looking into similar allegations at Alpha Epsilon Pi. Northwestern has suspended all fraternity social and recruitment for the next few weeks.

However, some students say a temporary suspension isn’t enough.

“This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened and unless the school takes meaningful action, it won’t be the last,” said Northwestern student Nathan Jeremie.

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