Frat cuts ties with chapter after student's death

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2013 10:48 AM

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A fraternity has revoked its affiliation with a New York City college chapter following the death of a student during what northeastern Pennsylvania authorities say was a fraternity ritual.

Pi Delta Psi said in a statement on its website that its Baruch College chapter "violated the values and rules of our organization, including our strict no hazing policy" in what it called the weekend's "unsanctioned and prohibited events."

"As such, they shall no longer be recognized as having any association with Pi Delta Psi," said the statement signed by Andy C. Meng, national executive president. "Additionally, we will also revoke the individual memberships of any member found involved in this incident."

Monroe County District Attorney David Christine has said he plans to file criminal charges in the Dec. 8 death of 19-year-old freshman Chun "Michael" Deng.

About 30 Pi Delta Psi members spent that weekend at a home in Tunkhannock Township, Pa., about 100 miles west of New York City.

Authorities allege that Deng sustained a fatal brain injury after participating in an initiation ritual in the winter snow with three other pledges. Blindfolded and wearing a backpack containing 20 pounds of sand, his objective was to make it to a certain member without being tackled by other members, but he was shoved, apparently fell and struck his head, Pocono Mountain Regional Police wrote in an affidavit.

The affidavit alleged that instead of calling 911, fraternity members took Deng inside, changed his clothes and conducted Google searches about his symptoms before taking him to the closest hospital, where he died the next day. While they were at the hospital, one brother called back to the house to tell the members to dispose of "all fraternity memorabilia and items," the affidavit alleged.

Police also said they recovered suspected marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms at the house.

Meng said earlier that the fraternity was suspending new member education nationwide until further notice. A Baruch College spokeswoman said the fraternity had been suspended, and officials hadn't been notified about the initiation activities, but punishment wouldn't be imposed until the school's own investigation was completed.