West Virginia University halts fraternity, sorority events over medical emergency

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 14, 2014 12:58 AM

(Reuters) - West Virginia University has suspended all activities by campus fraternities and sororities hours after a student was found at a fraternity house without a pulse, police and school officials said on Thursday.

Nolan Burch, 18, was not breathing when he was found at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house around midnight on Tuesday, said Ed Preston, the police chief of Morgantown, where the school is located, 75 miles (121 km) south of Pittsburgh.

Police arrived to find CPR being administered to Burch, who was taken to hospital and put in intensive care, Preston said in a statement, adding that fraternity members were being interviewed.

After the incident, the school said it was indefinitely suspending all sorority and fraternity social and pledging activities.

"The action to halt fraternity and sorority activities is being done with the well-being and safety of our students in mind," Dean of Students Corey Farris and other school officials said.

"Our hearts, prayers and support go out to the student who is gravely ill and his family," the officials said in a joint statement, citing Tuesday's emergency and another recent event.

Broadcaster WDTV reported that a separate fraternity was suspended last week after three arrests and 16 citations of students in another incident.

The school, near the Pennsylvania border, topped adult magazine Playboy's annual ranking of party schools last year.

The magazine singled out two big annual parties, FallFest and St. Patrick's Day, when "thousands of strapping Mountaineers take to the streets to major in booze-fueled debauchery and minor in public disturbance," it said.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Clarence Fernandez)