BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Following the investigation into the alleged hazing death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz, the university announced on Friday that it has charged the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity with six violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity was charged with the following violations:
- Offenses against persons— harm to others
- Four counts of Offenses against persons—hazing
- Offenses Disrupting Order or Disregarding Health and Safety—Organization Alcohol
Foltz was hospitalized on March 4 following “alleged hazing activity involving alcohol consumption” at an off-campus Pi Kappa Alpha event. He was in critical condition for three days before he died, according to the university.
On Friday, Bowling Green State University said in a statement that school officials met with local and national leaders of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. BGSU worked with special counsel David DeVillers, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio at the firm Barnes and Thornburg to conduct an investigation.
“Hazing is absolutely intolerable. BGSU continues to work with local law enforcement, who are actively leading their own investigation into this serious situation. While these University charges don’t bring back student Stone Foltz, our goal is to hold those accountable who are responsible for this tragedy. Today’s charges are another step in the ongoing investigation concerning the fraternity with adjudication scheduled for completion by April 13. The conduct processes involving individual students also remains ongoing," the university said.
The fraternity’s Greek letters were removed from its on-campus residence on March 7.
"He's going to be the individual that unfortunately cost his life, but he's going to the be the one that finally deals with this horrible fraternity behavior around the country," said Rex Elliot, the Foltz family attorney. "We need to eliminate hazing now. If we eliminate hazing now, we will see far fewer of these incidents and hopefully none."
Read the full statement Rogers sent the campus community regarding the investigation into the alleged hazing incident.
BGSU President Rodney Rogers said the university supports Collin’s Law, an anti-hazing bill in honor of Ohio University freshman Collin Wiant, who died in 2018.
Former State Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) spent years trying to push Collin's Law through the Ohio legislature, coming up short at the end of the 2020 session.
Collin's mother, Kathleen, continues that fight and watches closely at the investigations underway at Bowling Green State University.
"I suspect that Bowling Green is taking notes with Collin’s death and what went on with Ohio University," she said. "My hope is before they break for summer session, that it’s a law."
On Wednesday, Wiant testified before the Ohio Senate Higher Education and Workforce Committee.
"We don’t want another family to go through the pain and loss our family experienced," she said. "Sadly, another family has. The hazing death of Stone Foltz further underscores the importance of getting this bill passed and not having it stall as it did last November."
The bill contains three primary purposes: education, transparency and harsher penalties.
Any organization that recruits new members would have to go through anti-hazing education.
It would force groups to disclose any type of past code of conduct violations so that parents and students can look it up and find it easily before any type of recruitment.
And lastly, it would toughen the penalty for any hazing conviction.
"Right now hazing is the equivalent of not paying your parking ticket in the state of Ohio, so a fourth degree misdemeanor," she said. "So this would make it a felony if there’s bodily injury."
It's a bill that the Foltz family has already express support.
"Our ultimate goal is to get all university presidents to institute a zero-tolerance policy for any hazing activities," a statement from the Foltz family attorneys said. "True zero tolerance means one hazing incident results in immediate fraternal expulsion. Proposed state and federal legislation are steps in the right direction but university presidents must make serious and significant changes to eliminate hazing from the culture."
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