US San Diego State University freshman hurt in fraternity incident dies
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SAN DIEGO — Dylan Hernandez, the 19-year-old San Diego State University freshman who required medical attention last week after an unspecified incident at one school’s fraternities, has died, campus officials said on Monday.
“His family gave their goodbyes late Sunday night,” SDSU President Adela de la Torre said in a statement. “The family has given the university permission today to share this information, and we are working to support them during this incredibly difficult time.
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“As a mother, nothing can replace the profound loss of a child, and the devastating heartbreak the family and their loved ones are experiencing. All of us in the Aztec family are sending our prayers, and are here to support the family.”
The statement was sent to the entire student body and their parents.
The university did not list a cause of death, nor say whether alcohol was a factor.
Hernandez had been pledging to Phi Gamma Delta, a fraternity that was placed on probation in 2017 “after being found in violation of regulations pertaining to alcohol at off-campus fraternity events,” according to the Daily Aztec, the student newspaper.
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“If this turns out to be alcohol-related, we’ll be talking about the latest time something like this has happened at a fraternity,” said Robert Ottilie, a San Diego attorney who has been involving in trying to reduce such problems nationwide.
“The majority of these deaths can be avoided if the university would simply do their job and effectively protect their students in the first instance, instead of blaming them when they go wrong.
“We can make fraternities safe, but the university and owners of the houses have to make a long term commitment to doing that. You cannot rely on the students to do it.”
Last week, SDSU issued a statement that saying that University Police received a 911 call on Nov. 7 and were asked to respond to a student in need of medical attention at a residence hall located in the 6100 block of Montezuma Road.
The call was placed at 8:49 a.m. and involved Hernandez.
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University Police officers quickly arrived to the location of the incident and provided aid. The student was then transported to a San Diego area hospital.
De le Torre later suspended the Interfraternity Council (IFC), which represents 14 fraternities at SDSU. The group had been having disciplinary issues.
“Six Interfraternity Council (IFC)-affiliated organizations were already under suspension prior to SDSU President Adela de la Torre’s November 8 decision to suspend all IFC-affiliated chapters,” the campus said in a statement.
“In addition, four other IFC-affiliated organizations were already under investigation. This means that a total of 10 of the 14 IFC-affiliated organizations were under some level of elevated judicial status prior to this incident. The recent investigation would mark the 11th organization to be on interim suspension or under investigation within the IFC.
“Evidence of discrimination, disorderly behavior, alcohol being served at sponsored events, drug use, the lack of insurance at a major event, and other violations of the student code or law can lead to a suspension.”
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The university has not explained why it didn’t issue the overall ban sooner.
The announcement of Hernandez’s death was profoundly upsetting to students.
“I didn’t know him but it’s a tragedy, I feel horribly for his family” said Emily McLaughlin, a 27 year-old graduate student, 27.
“But ultimately this isn’t surprising. … It’s frustrating (that SDSU) has been doing all these things that benefit their public image and advance their property acquisition (SDSU West) but have ultimately done nothing to improve the lives and safety of their students that spend thousands of dollars a year to receive an education.”
Tyler Marbach, a 28 year-old graduate student, said, “This further cements frat culture’s reputation for being somewhat reckless and cavalier towards new students.”
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