RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Commonwealth University officials have tentatively recommended the permanent removal of a fraternity linked to a student’s death hours after attending a fraternity party in February.
A university spokesman said Wednesday that a Division of Student Affairs report recommends that the Delta Chi chapter be expelled “if reported allegations result in findings that it is responsible for misconduct” associated with the death of Adam Oakes, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The division initiated disciplinary proceedings against the chapter on Monday, more than two months after the 19-year-old freshman died after attending an event held by the fraternity, according to Michael Porter, the university’s associate vice president for public affairs.
Oakes’ family says hazing played a significant role in the death. Oakes had received a bid to the Delta Chi fraternity and attended a party where he would receive his “big brother” the night before his death.
Partygoers handed him a large bottle of whiskey and told him to drink, his family said. Authorities found him dead in the morning. The next day, the university and the fraternity’s headquarters suspended the chapter.
A review by the university’s Student Organization Conduct Committee is expected to be complete this summer, Porter said.
The university has hired a consulting firm specializing in fraternity and sorority culture to investigate Greek life at the school. Richmond police are also still investigating the death.
The university issued a four-year ban on the chapter in 2018 after repeated violations, including providing underage students with alcohol, but later lowered the suspension to one year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported.
Oakes’ cousin, Courtney White, said in a statement that the family believes that the university’s actions are “a step in the right direction.”