The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has suspended its chapter at Northern Illinois University after police charged 22 members with hazing-related counts in the death of a freshman.
The international organization says it will cooperate in pursuing anyone who broke the law. The incident involved a first-year student, David Bogenberger of Palatine, who was found unresponsive at the fraternity house Nov. 2 with a blood-alcohol content of .40. He later died.
Tracy Maxwell, founder of the Colorado-based group www.HazingPrevention.org, says thereâ€™s no simple way to stop this. â€œHazing is not an easy issue. Itâ€™s secretive, it has many facets to it, itâ€™s been around for centuries, and itâ€™s part of our culture in many ways, and that makes it a complicated problem to deal with, and it requires a nuanced approach,â€ she said.
Maxwell says over the last decade, 55 percent of college students who belong to an organization or a team have been hazed. This is not limited to fraternities and sororities; athletic teams and bands are notorious hazers, she says.
Of the 22 individuals charged at Northern Illinois, five are charged with hazing-related felonies. The other 17 face misdemeanor alcohol charges.