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Newsletter > March 2008 > "FRESHMAN DIES AT CLEMSON UNIVERSITY"
FRESHMAN DIES AT CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
Tim Burke, Manley Burke, email@example.com
On December 9th, Benjamin Sprague, a freshman student at Clemson University, was found dead lying on a futon in the Sigma Nu Fraternity House where he was a member. He had a blood alcohol content almost five times the legal driving limit in South Carolina.
In the aftermath of his death, all the activities of the chapter were suspended by both the fraternity and the University. In late January, three members of the fraternity were charged with misdemeanor crimes related to providing alcohol to a minor. One of those students was also charged with providing false information (a fake I.D.) in order to purchase beer and wine.
The Associated Press reports that the local prosecutor, Chrissy Adams, explained that the charges were not more serious because the activities of the three charged did not lead directly to Sprague’s death. The Greenville News quoted the prosecutor as explaining “these are the events that took place the night of December 8th. Ben was picked up at his dorm room by friends around 8:00 p.m. Ben and friend Jetin Patel went to the Bi-Lo in Clemson and Mr. Patel purchased beer and champagne with a false ID. Ben and his friends went to a pre-party where alcohol was consumed but not provided. Everyone at that party brought their own alcohol.”
In the aftermath of the charges, a statement was released on behalf of the Sprague family which said, in part:
Ben was smart, fun and loving. We were, are, and always will be proud of him. His spreading of joy should be an inspiration to us all. While we acknowledge Ben’s errors in judgment, we do not believe his errors overshadow his goodness.
Now, we must turn to constructive pursuits. We hope that, collectively, we can find a way to engage the energy and resourcefulness of young people and families, along with the power of institutions and the media, to bring a greater good from our family’s loss.
The three charged students face potential fines and jail time of up to 30 days. They may have the option of a pre-trial intervention program which, if completed, would allow the charges to be removed from their records.