Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Phi Beta Sigma Pledge Dies from Hazing

Prairie View A&M disbands fraternity after Dallas pledge's death

HOUSTON – Prairie View A&M University has suspended a fraternity chapter until 2013 after determining its hazing of a 20-year-old pledge led to his death.

Junior Donnie Wade II of Dallas died Oct. 20 after members of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity subjected him to rigorous physical workouts, according to a university report cited by the Houston Chronicle.

An autopsy blamed Wade's death on a rare syndrome triggered by strenuous exercise, complicated by a sickle-cell trait.

The university investigation also found that fraternity members attempted to cover-up their involvement in the episode by demanding pledges deny any fraternity member was present when Wade collapsed during an early morning run off campus.

The fraternity may apply for a new chapter in 2013. If approved, the new chapter would be subject to a year of probation, the Chronicle reported in its online edition Monday.

A message the Associated Press left Monday with Phi Beta Sigma's national officials wasn't immediately returned.

Wade's family is suing the university and the fraternity, alleging wrongful death.

The lawsuit claims Wade was denied fluids during the workout that preceded his death. It also alleges that hazing by the fraternity included limiting pledges to a bread-and-water diet and subjecting them to paddling.


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