Phi Delta Theta has formally suspended and removed its Louisiana State University chapter charter after a suspected fraternity hazing incident.
Hospital tests found a ‘highly elevated’ blood alcohol level in the body of an LSU student whose death police are investigating as a possible result of fraternity hazing, a coroner said Friday.
Blood and urine tests also detected the presence of marijuana in the body of 18-year-old Maxwell Raymond Gruver, according to a statement from East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark’s office.
Preliminary autopsy results Friday found no internal or external trauma, but did find ‘marked cerebral and pulmonary edema’, or swelling in the brain and lungs.
Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters said in a statement yesterday 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.’
An autopsy found the presence of alcohol and marijuana in the system of Maxwell Raymond Gruver, 18, (left) after he died in a suspected hazing incident
Gruver, a Louisiana State University freshman, died in what is being investigated as a possible fraternity hazing incident. Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity involved in the investigation, has been formally suspended and had its charter revoked
The freshman from Roswell, Georgia, who was being considered for membership in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, died Thursday after being treated at a Baton Rouge hospital for an unspecified ‘medical emergency,’ university spokesman Ernie Ballard said.
Clark’s office said final autopsy results are pending toxicology and histological testing that could take up to four weeks to complete.
‘The death of Maxwell Gruver was tragic and untimely,’ said LSU President F. King Alexander, who offered his ‘deepest sympathies and prayers’ to the student’s family and friends.
‘As we have continually warned over and over again, hazing is dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at LSU. Period,’ Alexander said.
The Phi Delta Theta house has been suspended by the university and its national chapter, and ‘all Greek activities’ have been suspended as well pending the outcome of the LSU police investigation, Alexander said.
Phi Delta Theta said in yesterday’s 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.
Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity implicated in the incident, has been suspended by the university and its national chapter and had its charter removed
Pictured is a view of Louisiana State University. LSU President F. King Alexander said: ‘As we have continually warned over and over again, hazing is dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at LSU. Period’
Alexander said police are investigating allegations that alcohol was a factor in Gruver’s death, and that he wasn’t aware of any immediate arrests.
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.’