Phi Delta Theta fraternity shutters LSU chapter after pledge's death

Louisiana State University(BATON ROUGE, La.) — The Phi Delta Theta fraternity has shuttered its Louisiana State University (LSU) chapter “effective immediately” after a freshman pledge died last week.

After Maxwell Gruver, 18, of Georgia, died the morning of Sept. 14, LSU police launched an investigation into his death as a potential hazing incident. The university president said Thursday that allegations involved alcohol and hazing but stressed that the investigation was evolving.

The tragedy also prompted all Greek activities to be suspended at LSU.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office said Gruver’s preliminary autopsy found no internal or external trauma but noted that he had excessive fluid in the lungs and brain and that he had “a highly elevated blood alcohol level plus the presence of THC.”

Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters said in a statement today that the decision to suspend the chapter “was based on the preliminary findings of an investigation that uncovered enough information to conclude that some chapter members were in violation of established risk management policies, including our Alcohol-Free Housing policy.”

Phi Delta Theta said in a statement that it “will continue to support the ongoing investigations by both

LSU and local law enforcement and encourage authorities to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The Fraternity will also continue its internal investigation to completely understand the situation in order to hold all of those who violated its risk management policies accountable for their actions,” the statement said.

The fraternity said it will also review its health and safety policies and educational programs and “is committed to enacting any new initiatives to help prevent similar situations in the future.”

Bob Biggs, executive vice president and CEO of Phi Delta Theta, said in the statement, “We continue to keep the entire Gruver family in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”

“This incident serves as a stark reminder of why we need to continue to educate our undergraduates on the dangers of alcohol, hazing, and be constantly vigilant to ensure our risk management policies are fully implemented.”

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