University officials charged in alcohol poisoning death

The New York Times reported on August 4th that two Rider University officials and three fraternity members were charged with aggravated hazing in the March death of a freshmen fraternity pledge. Gary DeVercelly, an 18 year-old freshman from Long Beach, CA, died on March 30 after a night of drinking as part of a fraternity initiation ritual.  When DeVercelly died, his Blood Alcohol Content was 0.426–a level at which an individual will be completely unconscious, have depressed reflexes, impaired respiratory and circulatory function, and will be near death.  He had consumed more than half of a bottle of flavored vodka along with his fraternity brothers.

This tragic case represents the first time that university employees have been charged directly in an alcohol related incident.  Neither the dean of students or Greek life coordinator were present at the fraternity house on March 30 nor were they directly responsible for providing the alcohol that was served at the party.  The three students charged, who are all over 21, were present at the party that led to DeVercelly’s death.

One Response to “University officials charged in alcohol poisoning death”

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