On Monday, arrest warrants were issued for 22 Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members in relation to the Nov. 2 death of David Bogenberger, a pledge and NIU freshman.
Bogenberger was found unresponsive Nov. 2 at the Pi Kappa Alpha house, 1020 W. Hillcrest Drive. According to DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller, Bogenberger had a blood-alcohol content of .351 percent that led to an arrhythmia. Miller ruled the death accidental.
According to a news release from the DeKalb Police Department, five members of the fraternity face felony hazing charges and 17 people face misdemeanor hazing charges. According to the DeKalb Police Department, an investigation into the events preceding Bogenberger's death has confirmed that the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity hosted "Parent's Night," where pledges were provided with alcohol.
"All 22 are charged with a form of hazing," said DeKalb Police Lt. Jason Leverton. "Those five [facing felony charges] we felt were principally involved in the planning of the evening, or the status in the fraternity are charged with different charges. They had more responsibility in the fraternity. They could have ended the evening at any time."
Leverton said those charged with Class A misdemeanors can't face any more than one year in jail or a $10,000 fine; those facing Class 4 felonies face up to three years in jail or a $25,000 fine.
NIU has also announced that Pi Kappa Alpha and 31 unnamed students are facing charges of violating NIU's Student Code of Conduct stemming from Bogenberger's death. According to NIU, the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct investigated the events preceding Bogenberger's death and found that Pi Kappa Alpha hosted an unsactioned social event for pledges on the night of Nov. 1. Fraternity leaders did not officially register the event with their national chapter or NIU, according to the university.
"Northern Illinois University has clear and distinct policies regarding fraternity and sorority social events," according to NIU. "Violations of NIU’s policies result in university sanctions ranging from a reprimand to expulsion for students who are found to have violated NIU’s Code of Community & Student Standards & Conduct."
The students who violated the Student Code of Conduct face measures that range from educational sanctions and probation to suspension and expulsion, according to NIU.
On Monday, Bogenberger's family issued a statement asking college administrators and fraternities "to stop the hazing and initiation rituals that claimed David."
According to the DeKalb Police Department, other pledges reported getting sick and/or passing out due to excessive alcohol consumption from "Parent's Night."
"It is an extremely unfortunate event," Leverton said. "It’s a tragedy that this type of event has happened. We, the criminal justice system, the university and Greek systems, need to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. We need to face the realities of hazing and prevent this from happening again. That’s our goal."
Editor's Note: In the interest of full disclosure, the Northern Star would like to indicate that the Star's sports editor, Brian Thomas, is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was not in DeKalb at the time of Bogenberger's death and is not facing any charges in relation to Bogenberger's death. Brian Thomas has not and will not report in any way on news related to Bogenberger or the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
Editor's Note: City Editor Joe Palmer contributed to this article.