The parents of a Bowling Green State University (BGSU) suggested that state and federal lawmakers should tackle the issue of hazing after their son, a fraternity member at the school, tragically died during an alleged hazing ritual.
Stone Foltz, who was pledging to become a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, died on March 4. His parents released the following statement:
Stone Foltz died as a result of a senseless hazing ritual. While he wasn’t the first to suffer dire consequences at the hands of a fraternity, we are determined to make him the last. We are encouraged to see Bowling Green State University move swiftly to address Pi Kappa Alpha’s conduct … We also expect the individuals who participated in the hazing ritual to be held accountable. However, our ultimate goal is to get all university presidents to institute a zero-tolerance policy for any hazing activities. True zero tolerance means one hazing incident results in immediate fraternal expulsion. Proposed state and federal legislation are steps in the right direction but university presidents must make serious and significant changes to eliminate hazing from the culture.
BGSU has charged the fraternity with six offenses related to the alleged hazing, and university president Rodney K. Rogers said the school is working with the national leaders of Pi Kappa Alpha and a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio “to pursue a thorough and fair investigation to seek the truth and facts regarding the alleged hazing activity on March 4.”
It is unclear whether any students will face criminal charges.
“As president, I am deeply saddened. This loss is one I would never wish on anyone. As a father of two recent college graduates, I am struck that this is every parent’s worst nightmare and the Foltz family, along with Stone’s friends, who tried to assist him that evening, remain in my thoughts,” Rogers said in a letter to the BGSU community. “We immediately placed the fraternity on interim suspension, and we continue to make progress in addressing hazing.”
According to a letter sent to the fraternity by Associate Dean of Students Jeremy Zilmer, a meeting will be held April 6 to discuss how to proceed. Such a meeting was already scheduled, but Pi Kappa Alpha failed to attend.
“These are very serious allegations. If you accept responsibility on behalf of the organization, we will discuss sanctions,” the letter said. “If you request a formal hearing before the University Conduct Committee on behalf of the organization, Dean [of Students Chris] Bullins will discuss the hearing preparation checklist and provide a hearing overview for you.”
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