The dark side of Greek life at universities
On March 5, 2021, tragedy struck Bowling Green State University. Stone Foltz, a 20-year-old student, was hospitalized after an alcohol-involved incident at the university’s Pi Kappa Alpha chapter. Foltz was discovered by his roommates after being dropped off at his apartment by members of the fraternity. Foltz died two days later when life-support was removed. Since the incident, BGSU has stripped the fraternity of its status on campus and will be completing further investigations to determine the main actors in the incident. Hopefully, justice will be served soon.
This has caused many other universities to consider the influences of Greek life on the student body, including Cleveland State University. What will CSU do to prevent a similar incident from happening to one of their students? The administration has already taken action to prevent hazing and to allow students to focus on the positives of Greek life. According to Matthew Knickman, the director of the Center for Student Involvement, “Cleveland State University and the state of Ohio have zero tolerance for hazing.”
In fact, CSU’s administration has already met with student organization leaders to discuss Foltz’s case and how it affects the university. They have also met with peers from throughout Ohio and the country concerning pending legislation and the best ways to prevent similar situations.
“Hazing knows no bounds in regards to who commits these awful acts, whether it be a student organization, a marching band, a team… Cleveland State University will continue to provide hazing prevention work with our student organizations and through our Athletic Department,” says Knickman.
As for direct action taken by fraternity chapters on campus, Jesse Prado, chapter president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, made the following statement regarding the situation:
Sigma Phi Epsilon, both here at Cleveland State University and throughout the entire country, looks down on situations like this in complete sadness. Not only do we not take part in hazing, but we also have strict anti-hazing policies in place. Real fraternity men will never put another brother in a dangerous situation. My brothers and I have kept Foltz’s family in our thoughts and in our prayers. We hope the right people are brought to justice, and we move closer to a Greek community without hazing.
Trent Matthews, chapter president of Delta Sigma Phi, shared similar sentiments:
I would first off like to say how sorry I am for Foltz’s family. No one deserves to go through what he did. As for Delta Sigma Phi here at CSU and across our other chapters around the country, we work very hard to educate our members against hazing. This includes reading over our bylaws, completing interactive modules that are given to us by our nationals, and talking about instances like what happened [at BGSU] as a chapter to make sure that we never see something like this on our campus… We as Greek organizations were built on the premise of bringing people together for a common goal of education and betterment to ourselves. To allow us to make connections that could lead to possibilities in the future… To have each other’s back and hold each other up when needed. That is what we are about, and that is what I wish chapters like BG’s Pi Kappa Alpha didn’t diminish us from executing as easily.
If there is anyone wishing to report allegations of hazing, here are two ways to make reports:
- Email CSU Conduct and Community Standards at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make an anonymous report through the CSU Ethics Point Anonymous reporting here.