It’s another year and another fraternity made up of Boston University students is in trouble.
The university and national organization suspended the BU chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu after a gathering at an Allston apartment last weekend ended in the death of a freshman.
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Colin Riley, a BU spokesman, said that the organization is suspended while the university conducts a probe into the gathering that resulted in the death of Anthony Barksdale II, who was found unconscious at the apartment late Friday night and later died. The cause and manner of his death are still under investigation.
Two other Greek organizations made up of BU students were in trouble last year because of incidents that involved hazing and drinking.
Riley said that Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore traditionally speaks to the hundreds of student groups at the university about their role in being student leaders.
“We’ve taken a lot of steps to address certainly their obligations and responsibilities as student leaders,” Riley said. “Obviously, alcohol is a topic that’s discussed and emphasized as well as the need to prevent any dangerous situation from occurring and to be responsible.”
Barksdale was a member of the fraternity and lived at an on-campus residence known as the Towers. Elmore said the fraternity’s president told him that the event Friday night was a “meet and greet” attended by about 46 people, according to BU Today. Neighbors of the Wadsworth Street apartment building told Metro earlier this week that it is known as a gathering place for a fraternity.
BU President Robert Brown formed a task force last year after a pair of men’s hockey players were accused of sexual assaults. The task force eventually released its report that found a “culture of sexual entitlement” among BU hockey players.
Riley did not say whether there would be a similar overall investigation related to the university’s Greek life. He said that Elmore has “regular conversations” with student leaders about their responsibilities.
A woman who answered the phone at the Sigma Alpha Mu national organization said the executive director was not available as he was making his way back from Boston.
The suspension of Sigma Alpha Mu was the third fraternity of Boston University students to find itself in trouble within the last year.
*Last April, multiple Boston University students faced charges after police responded to a home on Ashford Street in Allston and found five Alpha Epsilon Pi pledges in the basement bound together with duct tape, wearing only their underwear and covered in condiments including hot sauce. The fraternity was not recognized by the university, but was made up of BU students.
*Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore suspended the Sigma Delta Tau sorority last year after a March incident that involved drinking and hazing and resulted in two female students sent to the hospital, according to BU Today.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.