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VCU launches independent review of Greek life in wake of student's death

"Simply put, this cannot happen again."
Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 08:25:36-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Commonwealth University announced Tuesday that they will launch an independent review of Greek life at the university in wake of the death of Adam Oakes, a freshman who was found dead Saturday morning.

Family members said they were told that Oakes was given a dangerous amount of alcohol at a fraternity event Friday night and, at some point, was blind-folded and hit his head on a tree.

Following his death, an investigation began and the Delta Chi fraternity was dealt a cease-and-desist order by the national chapter and the university.

VCU and Richmond police are investigating Oakes death, but officials have not confirmed specific details of how he died.

"Part of the police investigation will determine whether Adam’s death was related to a Delta Chi activity," Dr. Charles Klink, senior vice provost for student affairs, said in a message to VCU students, faculty and staff.

The independent Greek review is at the direction of VCU President Michael Rao.

Klink said the review will make recommendations about how Greek organizations meet the high expectations expected of them.

"Simply put, this cannot happen again. We will keep our community informed about the review, and its outcomes," Klink wrote. "At their best, fraternities and sororities promote fellowship, leadership and service through sound ethical and moral judgment. This comprehensive review will propose new ways to ensure all organizations follow our values and how they will be held accountable when they do not."

"The university continues to work with Adam’s family and will always keep Adam, his family and friends in our hearts," Klink continued.

Anyone who believes they have information about Adam’s death is asked to contact Richmond Police Detective M. Gouldman at (804) 646-3915 or call the VCU Police at (804) 828-1196.