Alcohol poisoning at USU Fraternity

A 17-year old girl’s alcohol poisoning at Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity has lead to a police investigation. Logan Assistant Police Chief Jeff Curtis says police received a call from the girl’s relatives at 8:42 p.m. on September 25th. They stated they were at the hospital where the young woman had been dropped off by an unidentified male, who then left. Utah State University has suspended the fraternity after the underage girl consumed an excessive amount of alcohol at the frat house and was rushed to the hospital. The Gamma Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha will be suspended indefinitely pending an investigation of the incident, school President Stan Albrecht said. “We feel we have the right to take any steps necessary to keep the university and its members safe,” said James Morales, vice president of student services. “What we do know is sufficient for us to take action … and implement this suspension immediately.” Police Assistant Chief Jeff Curtis said the girl, who is 17, was “extremely sick,” but her current condition was unknown. Morales declined to say if more than one student was involved. No arrests have been made. When contacted for comment, a resident at the frat house said “not interested” and hung up. Curtis said the university is taking under-age drinking more seriously after the November 2008 death of 18-year-old Michael Starks of Salt Lake City. The USU freshman died of acute alcohol poisoning while pledging at the Sigma Nu fraternity. “I believe that case certainly changed things,” Curtis said. Starks’ family sued the university over an alleged failure to address Sigma Nu’s past misconduct, but is dropping the suit after USU agreed to strengthen efforts to prevent alcohol abuse. Because the frat is no longer officially recognized by USU, it has limited or no access to university services pending the outcome of the investigation, Morales said. Curtis says the girl was suffering from significant, and nearly deadly, alcohol poisoning. She later disclosed the drinking occurred at the fraternity, located at 757 East 7000 North. No charges have been file yet. Curtis says the girl is a student at Utah State University.

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