A college student was rushed to hospital in a critical condition following an alleged hazing incident at his fraternity where he reportedly had about 60 shots of alcohol.
Stone Foltz, a 20-year-old student at Bowling Green State University in the US state of Ohio, was pledging the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity when he was involved in the alleged alcohol-related hazing event on Thursday.
Pledges are people who have accepted a bid to join a fraternity chapter but have not yet been initiated, and are often challenged with tasks to prove their commitment.
Specific details around the incident were not yet known, but a student who had a roommate also pledging the fraternity said drinking in excess at the event had been encouraged.
The student told local TV station WTOL 11 the pledge attending the same party said: "We have to drink a handle of any alcohol that our big [brother assigned by the fraternity] gives us.
"We have to finish the whole thing in the time we're there before we leave."
The student, who was not part of the university's Greek system, said he had never seen the pledge so drunk in his entire life.
"He went to the bathroom and was throwing up in the toilet for just 15 minutes to an hour and making himself vomit," the student said.
A handle of alcohol is 1.75 litres, meaning it can hold about 58 30-millilitre shots of alcohol.
Family prepares to donate organs
Lawyer Sean Alto, speaking on behalf of the Foltz family, told WTOL 11 Stone was dropped off at his apartment between 11 and 11.30pm on March 4 before friends who found him called 911.
He added the student was now being kept alive as the family worked with doctors to donate his organs.
After initial reports Stone has died, his mother wrote a message on Facebook pleading with people to be considerate and passionate.
"Please don't post comments on details of what you heard. Stone is still with us for the time as we go through the process to donate his organs," she wrote.
"Hug your children and tell them every day how much you love them."
University suspends fraternity
The Bowling Green State University (BSGU) wrote on Twitter it had placed Pi Kappa Alpha on an interim suspension for the alleged hazing incident and it was investigating the circumstances around the tragedy.
"BSGU is committed to not just the student conduct and law enforcement investigations, but a full inquiry into each Greek chapter's prevention and compliance responsibilities under university policies prohibiting hazing," the university said.
"Above all, we remain committed to supporting the hospitalised student’s family and friends. They are living every loved one’s worst nightmare, and we owe them the utmost respect and privacy at this time."
Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity standards state hazing is unacceptable and illegal and says all members should refuse from participating in hazing activity.
"Some activities are obvious, such as attempted physical abuse, whereas other activities may be more subtle and may require an interpretation," the fraternity said in a statement.
"Either way, you should be assured that no adverse action will be taken against you by the attempted 'hazer' or chapter with regard to your membership."
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