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Risk Management - Hazing & etc. This forum covers Risk Management topics such as: Hazing, Alcohol Abuse/Awareness, Date Rape Awareness, Eating Disorder Prevention, Liability, etc.


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  #1  
Old 10-11-2002, 09:29 AM
DWAlphaGam DWAlphaGam is offline
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Unhappy Pi Kappa Alpha New Member Drowns at U of Nevada

Just in case you haven't heard:

From http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20021011_403.html

Pledge Drowns in Lake on Campus
Freshman Pledge Drowns in Lake on University of Nevada, Reno, Campus

The Associated Press

RENO, Nev. Oct. 11
RENO, Nev. (AP) A freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno, drowned in Manzanita Lake during an outing with his fraternity's pledge class, school police said.

They said Albert Jerome Refuerzo Santos, 18, of Las Vegas, was part of a group of Pi Kappa Alpha pledges who were at the lake just past 2 a.m. Thursday.

"Our patrol officers received a call from dispatch that there was a person in the lake that they could not find," UNR Police Sgt. Marc Conley said.

Police Lt. Todd Renwick said that while members of the Washoe County Hasty Team searched the murky lake, campus officers checked the surrounding area to make sure nobody was hiding in bushes.

Divers recovered the body about two hours later.

Renwick said the county coroner's office ruled that Santos died from drowning. Toxicology test results were expected to take 5-8 days or longer.

Renwick said indications were that other members of the group had been in the lake, but he did not know how many. Temperatures were in the mid 50s.

He said witness interviews were expected to continue through Friday and possibly into Saturday.

"Our No. 1 priority is to rebuild this whole incident and to find out what happened," he said.

University spokesman John Trent said the fraternity had no problems in the past.

There are 10 other fraternities and four sororities on the campus. They have suspended all activities for at least a week.

A law passed by the 1999 Nevada Legislature makes hazing illegal at high schools and universities.

In October 1975, student John Davies died after a three-day drinking binge that was part of a Sundowners initiation. An autopsy determined he had a blood alcohol content of 0.421 more than four times the limit at which Nevada law presumes a person to be under the influence.


Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2002, 11:11 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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It's pretty sad when you let your chapter do things like this.

C'mon people don't be stupid... We drink but can't we at least take care of eachother? I hate seeing this stuff in the news.

True it wouldn't be there if he were an independant... But why should ANYONE die that way? How wasteful.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2002, 11:41 AM
KEPike KEPike is offline
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Hang On...

Just to play Devil's Advocate here, please at least wait out the 5-8 days til the toxicology report comes back. He may not have been drinking.

Yeah, it was 2am and these guys were in a cold lake. Not a smart idea. This chapter was an Excellence Award winning chapter, and was very well respected in Pi Kappa Alpha. It just goes to show that even top chapters can have big problems.

Thanks DWAlphaGam for posting this.
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  #4  
Old 10-11-2002, 11:50 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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True. The PKA's here at Central Oklahoma are a great group of guys. Since you're from Tulsa you may know 'em. Just chartered in April. I have a great deal of respect for PKA. To see this single incedent leads me to believe this was a single unorganized act of stupidity. It depends on the circumstances whether or not the chapter should see any repercussions.
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2002, 12:19 PM
The1calledTKE The1calledTKE is offline
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I hope of PKA that it turns out not to be the chapters fault but it don't look to good right now.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2002, 12:49 PM
KEPike KEPike is offline
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My new Shield & Diamond magazine came in the mail a few days ago with the Lambda Iota (UCO) Chartering. It sounds like a pretty strong group.

I am pretty familiar with UCO and somewhat with the Pikes there. In fact, my sister went to school there for a semester back in 99. She pledged Delta Zeta, but then left school.

Who are the best fraternities there? I remember Acacia being a strong group, with ATO and Kappa Sig having decent groups. I also remember seeing the school newspaper that had an article about the TKEs getting kicked off campus for having a huge keg party as a philanthropy. It sounds like the newer groups (namely Sigma Nu and Pike) have done well there in getting established.

Hopefully nothing like the incident at UNR will happen at UCO. Or anywhere for that matter. It's a shame that anyone should die due to anthing fraternity related. I can't imagine what struggles my brothers are going through right now. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers, please.
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2002, 04:08 PM
Zephyr Zephyr is offline
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so sad...

This kind of activity is why Delta Phi Epsilon is strictly, absolutely, 100% non hazing. These kinds of events are why Greeks have a bad reputation. This is such a sad loss not only to the victim's family but to Pika as well...

I don't know what htey were doing per se in the lake (the rational behind this event) but even the most innocent of exercises can have terrible outcomes like this.

Kristen
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2002, 07:47 PM
Eupolis Eupolis is offline
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What follows below is an exact duplicate of something I posted in a parallel thread in the "Greek Life" forum. I will add something drawn on what ktsnake said above, though: Even if they aren't drinking, we owe it to our brothers and sisters to watch out for them, in all kinds of activities.

== what I posted elsewhere: ==

I suggest that we take the approach of the officers who are investigating this incident and not jump to conclusions about whether or not it was hazing.

If they were forced (pressured) to swim in a dangerous, unlit lake in the middle of the night, when the dangers should have been obvious, then there would be grounds for charges of hazing, reckless homicide (manslaughter or third degree murder), and maybe even homicide by wanton disregard for the value of human life (second degree murder, assuming Nevada's codified the "depraved heart murder" rule).

But it's also entirely possible that these guys just decided to go down to the lake and fool around for fun, because sometimes groups of people decide to do crazy things in the middle of the night. I don't know where the lake is in relation to campus, so maybe that idea seems less likely to people who know the area. However, it's a possibility we shouldn't throw out just because a fraternity is involved. If we discard that possibility and jump to the conclusion that it was hazing because of the fraternity connection, we're making the same kind of jump to conclusions that we loathe when the general, uninformed public makes it.

A clearer picture will form with time, and then we'll have a better idea of whether this was some sort of hazing event.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2002, 03:09 AM
SigmaJoy SigmaJoy is offline
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An Update

From a local news station : 10/13/02

The coroner's report has now been released regarding the death of a University of Nevada student.

The report says that 18-year-old Albert Jerome Refuerzo Santos and several members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were taking part in an initiation ritual that required them to strip down to their underwear and jump in Manzanita Lake, a small man-made lake on the UNR campus.


The toxicology report is not back yet. I really hope that they don't find any alcohol in his system.
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2002, 10:11 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by KEPike
My new Shield & Diamond magazine came in the mail a few days ago with the Lambda Iota (UCO) Chartering. It sounds like a pretty strong group.

I am pretty familiar with UCO and somewhat with the Pikes there. In fact, my sister went to school there for a semester back in 99. She pledged Delta Zeta, but then left school.

Who are the best fraternities there? I remember Acacia being a strong group, with ATO and Kappa Sig having decent groups. I also remember seeing the school newspaper that had an article about the TKEs getting kicked off campus for having a huge keg party as a philanthropy. It sounds like the newer groups (namely Sigma Nu and Pike) have done well there in getting established.

Hopefully nothing like the incident at UNR will happen at UCO. Or anywhere for that matter. It's a shame that anyone should die due to anthing fraternity related. I can't imagine what struggles my brothers are going through right now. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers, please.
I have a good feeling about Lambda Iota. We usually have a standing invitation to attend their parties.. and vice-versa. They practice risk reduction (to the letter of the law) and are generally on top of stuff. They've even in their second year got a brother as speaker of the house for the student gov't.

All in all I'd say nothing but good things from them here.

As for this other group this is really something that PKA HQ should not tolerate. It sincerely pisses me off when a group takes the trust bestowed on them by their founders and squanders it with one act of stupidity getting out of hand. As a founder of my chapter I can say that if our actives ever do something this dumb they can count on a severe ass beating from me.
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  #11  
Old 10-15-2002, 05:41 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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Unhappy

It is so sad to hear about a young man losing his life in an accident such as this.

But it seems that anytime a man/woman has Greek Letters, it must have been related!

Yes , I can relate from when I was in school and some of us would do crazy stuff and not think about it.

I am in hopes that the autopsy comes back showing that he was not drunk, under the use of drugs, or a hazing situation.

I am not being cold about a loss off a life, but hope for each and everyone of us as Greeks do not get the brunt of yet another death among our ranks.
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2002, 10:35 AM
DeltAlum DeltAlum is offline
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An Update:

Las Vegas Sun
October 16, 2002

UNR frat warned before death

By Jennifer Knight

Just weeks before the drowning of fraternity pledge A.J. Refuerzo
Santos, a University of Nevada, Reno official warned members of the
Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity to do away with traditions that do not
advance the organization.

"I told them that they need to think about the traditions they set,"
said Rich Whitney, UNR leadership and Greek coordinator. "I said that
if they are not willing to tell me about it, or their parents, should
they really be doing this?"

Santos, an 18-year-old Centennial High School graduate, was pulled
from Lake Manzanita on the UNR campus early Thursday morning. Santos
was pledging for Pi Kappa Alpha when he and a group of other men
stripped down to their underwear and dove into the lake. His body was
found by divers seven feet below water.

UNR campus police are investigating whether the incident was hazing.

Mike Gonzales, deputy coroner for Washoe County in Reno, said the
department is ruling last Santos' death an accidental drowning --
Santos was not a good swimmer, according to people information
gathered by the coroner's office.

Santos and members of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha were believed to
be participating in an initiation ritual at the time.

"For members it was kind of a ritual that they did," Gonzales said.
"That is just based on what the fraternity members said at the time
of the accident. Whether it was hazing is for the police to
determine."

UNR campus police are expected to wrap up their investigation of
Santos' death sometime this week. So far, they have interviewed 26
students, said UNR police Lt. Todd Renwick.

"It's safe to say that it was a common practice among all
fraternities to jump in the lake and get their hair wet," Renwick
said. "We don't think they were all told or threatened they had to be
there."

University administrators are now looking to step up preventative
education as a way to avert such incidents.

State Sen. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, said she believes the drowning
was due to hazing and urged officials to take a no-tolerance approach.

"It's terrible that we had this (anti-hazing) policy that the
administration and students signed off on, and now, obviously they
just considered it symbolic rather than a priority," Titus said.
"Maybe we need to have campuses develop a policy that has an
aggressive approach to monitoring this type of behavior."

Titus is credited with pushing legislation in 1999 that made hazing
illegal in Nevada.

UNR temporarily suspended the fraternity's recognition pending a review.

Attempts to contact Pi Kappa Alpha members were not successful.

Whitney said UNR officials have tried to educate students about the
dangers of alcohol and hazing by handing out leaflets during rush
week. Now the school is considering adopting some of the practices
used at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

UNLV currently has a system in which all new members pledging for a
Greek organization must attend Greek convocation night -- or "Greek
101." The seminar lays down the rules of fraternity and sorority
behavior.

New members are taught alcohol awareness and are expected to know
what hazing is.

Santos had been drinking that night but the amount of alcohol in his
system found in a coroner's toxicology screening probably "did not
have too much of an effect on him," Gonzales said.

He had a blood alcohol level of 0.062. Someone is considered legally
drunk with a blood alcohol level of 0.1 or higher.

"That's a pretty low level," Gonzales said. "I would guess that
(alcohol) did not have too much of an effect on him.

"From what we heard he wasn't a very strong swimmer. That probably
has more to do with it than the level of alcohol in his system."

While hazing usually brings to mind behavior such as paddling or
drinking excessively , it can be as simple as requiring a new recruit
to participate in an event or action that he or she is not
comfortable with.

Whitney said he wants to put a plan in place that would bring new
pledges together at UNR for an educational seminar on alcohol use,
hazing and risk assessment.

"We were planning to start this, and this just tells us we need to
start even more," Whitney said. With 30 percent of UNR's freshman
class coming from Southern Nevada this year, parents are concerned,
Regent Steve Sisolak said.

"I've had parents calling me wondering if this is the place to send
their kids," Sisolak said. "They assumed we had more safeguards in
place. When you send your kid away to college, this is absolutely the
last thing you think will happen."
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The above is the opinion of the poster which may or may not be based in known facts and does not necessarily reflect the views of Delta Tau Delta or Greek Chat -- but it might.
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2002, 10:32 AM
DeltAlum DeltAlum is offline
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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 23:21:28 -0700
From: Fraternity/Sorority Newsclips <doug.case@sdsu.edu>
Subject: Toxicology report concludes UNR student who drowned was drinking

The Sagebrush
University of Nevada, Reno
October 22, 2002

Toxicology report concludes Santos was drinking
By Samantha Fredrickson
Albert Jerome Refuerzo Santos was drinking the night he drowned in
Manzanita Lake, according to the toxicology report issued last week.
But it is unsure whether the amount of alcohol in his blood had a
strong affect on him.

Lt. Marc Conley said Santos' blood alcohol level was .06 - lower than
the .10 legal limit.

"Alcohol effects different people in different ways," Conley said.
"I've seen people at .06 who have showed signs of being grossly
intoxicated. But I've also seen people at .06 who weren't affected at
all by the alcohol."

Conley said he did not know Santos' alcohol tolerance so he could not
guess how big of a role alcohol played in his death.

"It's still kind of early to make any judgments," he said.

Santos, an 18-year-old freshman biology major from Las Vegas, drowned
in Manzanita Lake the morning of Oct. 10 after swimming with a group
of men from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

ASUN is holding a memorial for Santos Wednesday evening at 7:30 in
front of Getchell Library.

Tya Mathis, vice president for programming, said the ceremony will be
brief and counselors will be available to students afterward.

"It was a tragic death for all students," Mathis said. "ASUN wanted
to give students time to mourn."

President John Lilley and ASUN President Alicia Lerud will speak
during the ceremony, which will also include a song and a moment of
silence.

"We've never had one (a memorial) before," Mathis said. "We're urging
students to come out."

UNRPD is still investigating Santos' death and hopes to be finished
by the end of this week. They are still waiting for the final autopsy
report from the coroner, which Conley said he hopes will be finished
soon so the police can conclude their investigation.

It still has not been determined whether or not the incident was
hazing or if it is a criminal investigation.

When UNRPD finishes the case it will be turned over to the Washoe
County District Attorney for review.

John Helzer, assistant district attorney, said his office will
determine whether criminal charges need to be initiated. If charges
were to be issued against anyone, it would be up to UNRPD to prove
what happened that night, Conley said.

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity chapter at Nevada is still temporarily
suspended during the investigation of Santos'death.
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  #14  
Old 10-23-2002, 10:57 PM
UF_PikePC98 UF_PikePC98 is offline
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Re: Hang On...

Quote:
Originally posted by KEPike
Just to play Devil's Advocate here, please at least wait out the 5-8 days til the toxicology report comes back. He may not have been drinking.

Yeah, it was 2am and these guys were in a cold lake. Not a smart idea. This chapter was an Excellence Award winning chapter, and was very well respected in Pi Kappa Alpha. It just goes to show that even top chapters can have big problems.

Thanks DWAlphaGam for posting this.


Thanks for saying something. When I read his post my testosterone levels sky rocketed.

He just better be glad I wasn't around him.....




** I gotta lay off the protein and creatine**
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  #15  
Old 10-23-2002, 11:24 PM
Eupolis Eupolis is offline
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It's never a bad idea to wait for results like that before speculating much. Otherwise, we become just as bad as the people who assume that the group did something wrong because it's a fraternity.

Now, the way the evidence is coming together, it looks like there may indeed have been some wrongdoing, but I would hold off before speculating on just what the scope of that wrongdoing really is.

Oh, and thanks for the updates, DeltAlum.
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