Arizona Grows Worried Over Frat House Personal Injuries

Recently, several disturbing incidents have occurred at fraternity houses on Arizona college campuses. One fraternity member died and two underage girls were severely burned in recent incidents. The trend has grown so alarming that it has prompted the Arizona Board of Regents to send a letter to the national headquarters of almost 70 fraternities and sororities outlining its safety concerns.

The letter was prompted by a series of recent newsworthy incidents involving fraternity members at Arizona State University that drew national attention to the University:

  • One fraternity pledge died after a sorority-organized mixer. He went missing for three weeks and was found floating in the Salt River with high levels of alcohol in his blood.
  • One student nearly died after drinking 20 shots in a drinking contest.
  • Two underage girls were severely burned when a fraternity member threw a bottle of alcohol into a bonfire.
  • Numerous brawls have occurred.

In recognizing students’ rights to safety, the Regents requested that the national associations provide information on their actions in dealing with and preventing misconduct. The Regents note that they have become increasingly concerned about criminal activities and dangerous conditions occurring in fraternity and sorority houses on campus.

The Regents are hoping that this information will steer the way toward creating a safer environment for all students and creating policy changes. The national Greek groups set the rules and policies that address hazing, alcohol and general behavior. Local chapters that violate these policies face sanctions or suspension.

While much of the focus has been on ASU, the University of Arizona is not without its share of problems. In 2012, UA banned three fraternities and eight fraternities and one sorority are either on probation or have been sanctioned.

Universities are looking at numerous changes to make these environments safer for students. For example, ASU is inviting fraternities to live on campus this fall at a privately operated apartment complex. The Greek Row on Alpha Drive was closed a few years ago over safety concerns. The University anticipates that living on campus will reduce incidents because the environment is more secure.

The Regents will compile the information they receive and make safety recommendations based on the data in the hopes of lowering the number of personal injuries and deaths.

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