A month ago, Northern Illinois student David Bogenberger died of cardiac arrhythmia after being found with a blood alcohol content five times the legal limit. Now, today, 22 members of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, are being charged with either felony or misdemeanor hazing charges.
On the night of his death, Bogenberger participated a pledging event that caused the freshman to rotate from room to room, answering questions, and drinking liquor for questions that he missed. The fraternity members caused him to consume a massive amount of alcohol in just a two-hour period.
Via the Huffington Post:
"The event that night involved the pledges rotating between several rooms in the fraternity house, being asked a series of questions, and then being provided cups of vodka and other liquor to drink," police said in a statement. "This resulted in the pledges drinking a large quantity of alcohol in about a two-hour time period."
Police said several other pledges reported getting sick and passing out due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Today, DeKalb police officers issued arrest warrants for 22 of the fraternity's members. The chapter is also suspended.
It's doubtful, and tragic, that any sort of long-term institutional change will come from this incident. So we can't say this strongly enough: If you're in a fraternity and on either side of the pledging coin, have some personal responsibility. Be safe, especially when dealing with alcohol. Traditions and "This is the way we've always done it" aren't good enough reasons to potentially kill a 19-year-old kid.