Fraternity investigated after incident

By Grant Miller

A Delta Upsilon fraternity gathering is under investigation after a pledge in attendance was taken to the hospital after he drank what witnesses said was a large amount of alcohol, and because the event was allegedly not registered with University Programming and Activities (UP&A).

Fraternity President Gerald Edwards said the event in question has been blown out of proportion. “The gathering was an unplanned, spur-of-the-moment kind of thing,” Edwards said. “Some guys just pitched in some money to get something to drink and just hang out.”

Edwards said the gathering consisted of about 15 people hanging out at the house and that the pledge who was taken to the hospital had been drinking excessively before the gathering even began.

The pledge was taken to Kishwaukee Hospital at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday by other pledges who had come to the house with him.

“They knew he had been drinking a lot, and at first he seemed to be just having fun and he was all right,” Edwards said. “Then he was just out, and the guys weren’t able to get any response from him, but he was still breathing,” Edwards continued. “They didn’t want to take any chances with him because they knew he had been drinking a lot, so they took him to the hospital.”

The pledge was released the next afternoon and spent the remainder of the weekend at home with his family.

Mary Franklin, nursing supervisor at Kishwaukee Hospital, said excessive alcohol intake might lead to alcohol poisoning, which can lead to a shutdown of the vital functions of the central nervous system.

A report alleging the gathering was actually a planned party was filed Monday morning with the UP&A office. UP&A Greek Adviser Dawn Sturma said she could not comment on the details of the report, but did say her office will not be handling the investigation. Instead the investigation will go through the IFC Judicial Board.

Michelle Emmett, director of UP&A, said the gathering was never registered with the office, and the event in question is alleged to be a “Mom and Dad’s” night.

The Chief Justice of the IFC Judicial Board and Delta Upsilon fraternity member Chris Winters said the investigation is just the beginning of the IFC’s judicial process. “First there will be a fact-finding mission to see if there has been a clear violation of the rules,” he said.

To avoid any conflict of interest, Winters said he will only preside over the presentation of the case, but he will not take part in any of the deliberations.

IFC Sergeant-at-Arms Dave Krika said the IFC had no comment at this time on the investigation.

Jim Murphy, vice president of external affairs for the IFC, said the board is in the process of forming an investigation to look into the incident.

The investigation comes at crucial time for the greek community as the university recently created a task force to review alcohol policies as they pertain to fraternities and sororities.

“The task force isn’t immediately involved in this incident,” Emmett said. “The task force is more of a long-term idea that may not hear of such an event until well after it happens.”

Delta Upsilon ran into some problems last year when two fraternity members were arrested for second degree burglary in Iowa City. The fraternity recently got off a suspension for this incident.

“I think the suspension was a blessing in disguise,” Edwards said. “We have really improved from within in the past year, and this is merely an unfortunate situation.”

Edwards added he has heard many rumors about the recent incident. “There have been rumors of hazing and other things, but there was nothing like that,” he said. “It was an unfortunate circumstance. It was not an entire house thing; it was simply an individual problem.”