Bowling Green State University fraternity loses status after Dublin Ohio freshman hazing mishap involving Stone Foltz left in critical condition.
Here we go again. An Ohio college fraternity has lost its status after a hazing ‘mishap’ involving a sophomore at Bowling Green State University consuming 40 shots (is that even possible?) left a 20 year old student in critical condition.
According to a statement from the university, Stone Foltz, 20, of Dublin, Delaware County, was hospitalized after an ‘alleged hazing activity involving alcohol consumption’ at a Pi Kappa Alpha event in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Officials said the event occurred off-campus last Thursday. Foltz, a 2019 Buckeye Valley High School graduate, was hospitalized early Friday after an incident at the BGSU chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity. The 20 year old who was ‘rushed’ to ProMedica Toledo Hospital, where he remained in critical condition as his family, ‘worked through the process,’ of donating his organs, the family’s lawyer, Sean Alto, told ABC News.
Foltz’s mother shared a statement on social media after the fraternity released their own statement claiming the young man had died.
‘Please have respect, be considerate and passionate. Please don’t post comments on details of what you heard. Stone is still with us for the time as we go thru the process to donate his organs. Hug your children and tell them everyday how much you love them,’ she wrote.
‘horrified and outraged…’
The international fraternity then reissued a statement saying: ‘A student and unreported new member of the Delta Beta Chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Bowling Green, Ohio, was involved in an alleged incident of alcohol-related hazing at an off-campus event.’
Fraternity officials said they are ‘horrified and outraged by this incident’.
‘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,’ the release continued.
Officials said the Delta Beta Chapter has been placed 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 statement reads.
In addition, the fraternity said it will be cooperating fully with authorities as the 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’.
Alto told WTOL that Foltz was dropped off between 11-11.30pm at his apartment Thursday night.
Culture of hazing to be accepted
‘Shortly thereafter, Stone’s roommates or friends found him, who then called 911,’ Alto said.
‘He was in need of immediate transport to the hospital. And he was (flown) to the hospital where he’s at now.’
A student, who is Foltz’s roommate, also told the station that he overheard his roommate saying: ‘We have to drink a handle of any alcohol that our big gives us. We have to finish the whole thing in the time we’re there before we leave.’
A handle of alcohol, or a bottle, equates to about 40 shots.
‘I’ve never seen my roommate more drunk in his entire life. He immediately went to the bathroom and was throwing up in the toilet for just 15 minutes to an hour and making himself vomit,’ the student, who wished to remain anonymous, told WTOL.
Bowling Green State University officials also released a statement, saying that they’ve ‘placed Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity on interim suspension for alleged hazing activity’.
Legal action? Lawsuit? Permanent banning? What now?
‘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,’ the statement reads.
University officials also said they began to meet with student leaders ‘to decide the short- and long-term future of fraternity and sorority life at BGSU’.
An online petition was started, calling for the permanent removal of Pi Kappa Alpha from BGSU. 1,468 people had signed it by Sunday evening.
Foltz’s injuries come months after a law designed to increase the potential criminal penalties for hazing stalled in the Ohio Senate the Dispatch reported.
The proposed law would have expanded the legal definition of hazing to include forced consumption of drugs and alcohol and would have increased the crime from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a second-degree misdemeanor, with the potential of a felony if the offense involved drugs or alcohol.
Asked whether the family would seek to bring action against the fraternity or school, the Foltz family attorney Sean Alto says legal action on his part was premature, while not discounting it.
‘It’s too early to tell, when you say case I’m not sure if you’re talking about a lawsuit or that sort of thing, I think it’s too early to comment on that,’ said Alto. ‘Not all the facts are out yet, the investigation is obviously ongoing. I’m sure the university and police are doing their investigations which takes time and obviously that has to happen before I can comment. What I can tell you is there is a young man who is in the hospital fighting for his life so I think that’s pretty serious.’
It remained unclear if any criminal actions would be brought against the fraternity as Bowling Green Police continued to investigate.
The hazing incident is the latest in a string of episodes that has led to a student seeking acceptance and a kind of ‘belonging’ amongst ‘peers’ leading to disastrous results in an ongoing cultural norm in the United States.