A 17-year-old freshman girl who overdosed on alcohol last month had guzzled 12 shots of hard liquor within a half hour during a booze-fueled recruitment party at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, which one witness called “shocking” and “very uncomfortable,” according to a university incident report obtained by the Collegian.
CSU officials have slated a hearing tonight to give SAE a chance to respond to the allegations, and possibly determine the chapter’s fate. Chris Smith, senior history major and the chapter’s president, verified having received the same report but declined to comment on it pending the hearing.
The girl, who had never been drunk before, “describes having six double shots of Captain Morgan’s and Jack Daniels in approximately a 30-minute period,” stated the report prepared by Anne Hudgens, the executive director of Campus Life. “She was described as having become limp, unconscious, eyes rolled back in her head, with shallow, irregular breathing.
“All parties interviewed confirmed that they were told by emergency personnel and ER staff that without medical intervention she would likely have died,” Hudgens wrote.
After CSU police responded to the residence hall that morning and emergency crews rushed the minor to a local hospital, the report prompted the university and the national chapter to suspend SAE’s Greek status. CSU fraternities and sororities imposed a ban on providing alcohol on their properties two years ago, following the alcohol poisoning death of sophomore Samantha Spady in a now-defunct fraternity house.
The report also mentioned a second alcohol-related incident, which resulted in a student’s injury and a parental complaint.
CSU Police Department spokeswoman Cpl. Yvonne Paez said the university is still investigating some specifics about the night. Hudgens was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
The girl told investigators she went to the SAE house with her boyfriend with the intent of getting drunk for the first time, and that she had no idea how the large amount of alcohol would affect her.
The report stated that early Sept. 16, up to 40 people were drinking in the SAE house, a white brick building on the intersection of Laurel and Howes streets marked by twin golden lions at either side of the front doors. Witnesses said that nearly everyone was drunk, Hudgens wrote, and the house was rampant with partying and booze.
A partygoer told investigators “the whole frat house was pretty much drunk,” the report said. However, it was unclear who bought and served the alcohol.
The 17-year-old downed the shots as other partygoers surrounded her and created an atmosphere of “fun encouragement,” the report said. “The victim shortly lost consciousness and/or memory while on the couch. The guys were described as ‘concerned’ but not in good enough shape to actually be of much assistance.”
Someone at the party volunteered to give her a ride back to her residence hall in a white SUV. Once there, her condition worsened.
“Apparently there was initially some debate about whether or not to call for help because of the concern that they would get in trouble or get the fraternity in trouble,” the report said. “As it became apparent that she was not going to continue breathing on her own, the decision was made to call the RA.”
In the report, Hudgens lauded the victim’s friends for ultimately deciding to alert authorities.
“She was kept in the emergency room for approximately seven hours before declared medically stable and transported to the detox center,” the report said. “She spent approximately 12-14 more hours at detox before released to her mother.”
One of the men “directly involved” in the incident was later inducted into the fraternity, the report stated.
The report also said members of other fraternities and sororities told investigators that SAE was notorious for breaking the Greek alcohol ban and participating in “dirty rushing,” or rushing with alcohol.
Editor in chief Brandon Lowrey can be reached at email@example.com.