Mizzou withdraws recognition of fraternity after freshman hospitalized for drinking

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The University of Missouri has withdrawn its recognition of a fraternity as an official student organization after a house party led to a freshman student being hospitalized for consuming too much alcohol.

The action was taken against the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity chapter on Friday, university officials said in a statement. Earlier in the week, the university announced the temporary suspension of all fraternity activities.

Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for student affairs, said the safety of the Mizzou community is the school’s top priority. Also under way is an evaluation of fraternity and campus culture that examines strategies for alcohol safety and hazing awareness.

“This action was not an indictment on our Greek system, but a pause that provides us an opportunity to review our current culture through an assessment process,” Stackman said in a statement.

Police were called to the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house early Wednesday after the freshman became unresponsive. The student was taken to University Hospital for treatment. Early findings from a school investigation determined several of the fraternity members “consumed significant amounts of alcohol” during the party that began the night prior.

In response to the episode, some students on campus have cited the hospitalization as part of a larger issue following a recent trend of reports about drugged drinks that has left them feeling unsafe. Roughly 200 students gathered outside the Phi Gamma Delta house this week to decry hazing practices.

The parent organization of Phi Gamma Delta overseeing the Mizzou chapter has also stepped in by opening its own investigation in partnership with the university. Organization director Rob Caudill vowed the chapter would be held accountable, saying the international organization “expects its chapters to abide by its laws and policies.”

The Star’s Jeanne Kuang contributed to this report.

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