VCU expels Delta Chi chapter after student death

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Posted at 4:14 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 16:29:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Commonwealth University is expelling a fraternity from campus following a pledge’s death from alcohol poisoning after a fraternity party.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the university’s student organization conduct committee found Delta Chi responsible for violating policies on hazing and alcohol. The fraternity can no longer operate as a student organization at VCU.

The expulsion took effect on May 28. The decision comes three months after 19-year-old Adam Oakes of Loudoun County died.

The office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that his death was caused by alcohol poisoning. VCU had prohibited alcohol at fraternity and sorority events during the pandemic.

Oakes' family shared the following statement following the news:

The recent news from the Virginia Commonwealth University on the permanent expulsion of the VCU chapter of Delta Chi is a small but mighty step forward in protecting VCU students. It's a step in the right direction for Greek Life reform and transformation of its culture at VCU. Eliminating the "bad seeds" or organizations who go rogue, put the lives of others in jeopardy, and selfishly think of only themselves should not be representative of the university or of all Greek Life. However, these actions do not bring Adam back. These are reactive measures not proactive; we hope VCU and Greek organizations will truly strengthen anti-hazing policies and enforce them.

As for the individual students who contributed to Adam’s death, the boys in this fraternity have lived their lives, without consequences, continuing to party, go on spring break trips and summer vacations, posting pictures on boats, drinking outside their chapter houses, and posting tik tok videos as if nothing ever happened. We live with Adam's loss every single day. Every day my family wakes up to the reality that Adam isn't here and never will be again. The pain is immeasurable. We are heartbroken and the healing hasn't begun. As much as we find some hope in the expulsion, the fact is how much do these boys really care that the fraternity is no longer allowed back on campus? Are these actions really holding them accountable for what occurred that night? Do they regret the choices they made and feel remorse? If so, how have they demonstrated that? It's summertime and most are enjoying their summer break home with their families. Something Adam will never get to do. How do we get them to feel empathetic, remorse, and regret if they do not even see that what they did is wrong and are not held accountable?

What they did is wrong and we will continue to advocate for justice for Adam. We will continue to be HIS voice and push for change that can save other lives. #lovelikeadam #justiceforadamo #seekthetruth


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