R-MC frat shut down: Student hospitalized after allegedly being hazed with alcohol
Melodie N. Martin, Richmond Times-Dispatch
A fraternity at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland has been shut down after an incident involving alcohol abuse that sent a 19-year-old student to the hospital.
In an e-mail sent Monday to students, faculty and staff, college President Robert R. Lindgren announced the immediate closure of the Kappa-Tau chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, stating that "any acts of hazing, inappropriate alcohol use, and behavior that is harmful to others cannot be tolerated.
"John Holloway, director of chapter services for Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity, based in Indianapolis, said the decision to inactivate the chapter was announced Saturday during a meeting in Ashland with fraternity members and college officials.
On Dec. 3, Ashland police responded to a 1:56 a.m. call for medical assistance for a student who had been found unconscious and seemingly intoxicated in front of his dormitory. As an ambulance took him to Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center, medical personnel revived him from heart failure, said Cpl. James Shelhorse, an Ashland police spokesman.
Police determined that the 19-year-old student had received alcohol during a party at Lambda Chi's on-campus fraternity house in the 100 block of College Avenue.
The 19-year-old student, an associate member of the fraternity, has fully recovered and is not under review by the college judicial board, college spokeswoman Anne Marie Lauranzon said.
Aaron Tyler Godwin, 21, of the 4000 block of Lumberjack Lane in Glen Allen has been charged with providing alcohol to minors and hazing, both misdemeanors, Shelhorse said. His case is pending in Hanover County General District Court.
Godwin, who was a member of the fraternity, has gone through the college's judicial process, but the outcomes of such reviews are confidential to protect a student's privacy, Lauranzon said.
Lauranzon described the events as unusual for the small liberal-arts college. Fraternities at Randolph- Macon have closed because of other circumstances, but the December hazing incident was the only one in recent memory, she said.
Holloway said his organization's decision to inactivate the chapter was not based on one event but because "the conditions currently on the campus were not suitable for us to find success.
"The Kappa-Tau chapter, which until recently had about 35 undergraduate members, was founded at the college in 1926 and became part of Lambda Chi Alpha in 1939, Holloway said.The college is helping 16 members who were staying in the house, which belongs to the college, to find new living arrangements.
Holloway said Lambda Chi at Randolph-Macon will still exist within the international fraternity, so members who were undergraduates at the time of closure will be considered inactive in good standing with the organization. Upon graduation, they will become alumni in good standing.
But the chapter will not be conducting any further new member associations or initiations until the national organization decides to re-establish an active chapter at the campus, he said.
Randolph-Macon has six other fraternities and four sororities.
Lindgren expressed disappointment in losing the chapter, "but Greek life will flourish only when we take seriously these issues that can have a devastating effect on our students' lives," he wrote.
He said the college is committed to help bring the chapter back to Randolph-Macon when the fraternity's national office and the college deem appropriate.