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Newsletter > November 2001 > "ALCOHOL DROWNS INDIANA FRATERNITY"
ALCOHOL DROWNS INDIANA FRATERNITY
Timothy M. Burke, Manley & Burke
In 1998, Joe Bisanz died from asphyxia, according to The Indianapolis Star, as a result of ingesting so much alcohol at a party in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house that he choked on his own vomit Indiana University suspended Pi Kappa Alpha for one year. Now the chapter faces trouble again.
The Indianapolis Star reported on September 21, 2001, that a 20-year old pledge had to be hospitalized “with an apparent overdose of whiskey.” The student is reported to have had a blood alcohol level of 0.375 percent, almost four times the legal limit. The good news is that the student, who was comatose at the time he was hospitalized, recovered and was released from the hospital. Reports are unclear as to the details of the drinking bout in which the student was engaged. Reportedly, 12 fraternity members and pledges were drinking whiskey.
The bad news is that the chapter has become the fifth Indiana University fraternity chapter to be kicked off campus in less than two years. The Indianapolis Star reports that a student fraternity judicial board unanimously voted that the chapter be banned and Indiana’s Dean of Students imposed the penalty.
The recent record at Indiana University is discouraging. The alcohol-related death of Joe Bisanz just three years ago while the chapter was already on University probation for an alcohol violation was but one example. A rash of recent incidents included the death of Seth Korona, who died as a result of a brain injury suffered at a rush party. Korona fell, hitting his head, after he had performed a hand-stand on a beer barrel while drinking from the barrel’s tap.
[The student is reported to have had a blood alcohol level of 0.375 percent, almost four times the legal limit.]
In a separate story, The Indianapolis Star reported on Indiana’s efforts to control drinking campus-wide. While using a one-man “party patrol,” alcohol arrests more than doubled in three years from 450 in 1998 to 953 in 2000.
Against that backdrop, the swift and tough response by the University is understandable. Even the Executive Director of the national fraternity was reported to have supported the University’s decision.