The Fresno Bee has coverage of the death of Fresno State Freshman, and Theta Chi new member, Philip Dhanens over the weekend. While the cause of death is pending toxicology reports and a likely autopsy, initial reports indicate that the chapter had a formal dinner on Friday evening, followed by a party at the off-campus chapter house.
An interview, by the CBS affiliate in Fresno, with Dhanens’ girlfriend indicates that she learned that he had consumed two bottles of rum at the party, and was placed in the chapter’s “sober-up” room. 911 was called when he was found non-responsive later in the evening. The Fresno Bee article also indicates that Dhanens was a defensive end on his high school football team, and listed at 6’5″ and 325 pounds. If it was alcohol that caused his death, it was likely a very large amount of alcohol.
While there is still more to learn about this situation, it appears likely that it will be the next entry on Hank Nuwer‘s list of hazing/pledge related deaths. While it is the first of this academic year, it is not the first for 2012. Will Torrance of Vincennes (IN) University died in February while celebrating his pledging a local chapter.
This death has also prompted a commentary from Hank on revisiting the idea of deferred recruitment for all fraternities and sororities.
And by the way, National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) is coming up in a few weeks. This is a great time for serious discussions on campuses, and within our communities. There is plenty to talk about.