BU fraternity suspended after student’s death

anthony barksdale boston boston university bu
Anthony Barksdale II. (Photo courtesy Boston University)

The Boston University chapter of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity has been suspended by its national headquarters and the university, following the death of a freshman member.

19-year-old Anthony Barksdale II was found unconscious early Saturday morning at an apartment on Wadsworth St. in Allston, where an SAM party was held the night before. EMS transported Barksdale to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, where he died.

According to BU Today, Alex Cuetara, president of SAM at BU, told Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore a “meet and greet” was held to welcome six new members into the fraternity, Barksdale among them. About 46 people attended the party.

“The national organization actually suspended BU’s chapter based upon what they believed was information that Sigma Alpha Mu, at an off-campus location, a private residence, held a fraternity function that involved underage drinking where someone who was severely intoxicated was taken out of the space,” Elmore told the Daily Free Press, BU’s student newspaper.

Leland Manders, executive director of the fraternity’s national organization, met with Elmore Monday afternoon.

“We need to find out what happened on Friday evening and determine if there was a policy violation and how bad that violation may have been,” Manders told BU Today. “We will work in partnership with the University offices to determine if the chapter can continue in the future and under what circumstances it continues.”

University officials and Boston Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding Barksdale’s death. Toxicology results are pending, but the Suffolk district attorney’s offices says a preliminary autopsy shows no signs of physical violence.

Barksdale graduated from Souhegan High School in Amherst, N.H., last year, where he earned awards in basketball and academics.

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