Students should be aware of hazing past in Greek community

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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

Monday marked the 10-year anniversary of the death of Matthew Carrington.

Carrington, a 21-year-old Chico State student, died in 2005 from heart failure following the consumption of massive amounts of water during a hazing ritual.

As part of the pledging process, Carrington was forced to chug gallons of water for hours and do hundreds of pushups while several fans blew on him in the basement of the Chi Tau fraternity house.

The water intoxication ritual caused his brain to swell and induced seizures, eventually leading to heart failure.

Members of the fraternity waited for more than an hour before calling for help.

During the trial for Carrington’s manslaughter, one member of the fraternity would cite  “building brotherhood” as an excuse for torturing Carrington.

Following his death, a California law was passed that allows for felony prosecution if death or serious injury results from hazing.

However, regardless of the law, hazing was not eradicated from Chico State’s Greek system.

In 2012, Mason Sumnicht, a 21-year-old communications major, died of alcohol poisoning after taking 21 shots.

Sumnicht was pledging the Sigma Pi fraternity.

Following Sumnicht’s death, Chico State President Paul Zingg suspended the entire Greek system.

Zingg said students shouldn’t get away with letting a brother drink 21 shots on his 21st birthday and “pass out in his vomit.”

At the time, three other fraternities, Kappa Sigma, Phi Beta Sigma and Sigma Pi, were also under investigation after hazing accusations.

Most Greek organizations were reinstated in March of 2013, and it appears that many fraternities and sororities have changed their ways.

However, students should not ignore the tainted past of the Greek system.

With this week being the start of recruitment, it is important that Chico State students remain wary of hazing.

After all, a law could not eradicate hazing from the Greek system so how could a mere four month suspension?

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