- Associated Press - Monday, November 11, 2019

SAN DIEGO (AP) - San Diego State University announced Monday the death of a freshman who was hospitalized after attending a fraternity party.

Dylan Hernandez, 19, went to the party Wednesday, school officials said. Early Thursday, university police responded to a 911 call that a student needed medical attention at a residence hall. Hernandez, of Jacksonville, Florida, was taken to a hospital and died Sunday surrounded by his family, University President Adela de la Torre said in a statement to students and parents.

“As a mother, nothing can replace the profound loss of a child, and the devastating heartbreak the family and their loved ones are experiencing,” de la Torre said.

The university police are investigating the circumstances but provided no further details about why Hernandez was hospitalized, or whether alcohol, hazing or other causes are suspected.

The San Diego Police Department would only take over the case if the death is ruled a homicide by the medical examiner’s office, said spokesman Lt. Shawn Takeuchi.

Hernandez had been pledging to Phi Gamma Delta, a fraternity that was placed on probation in 2017 “after being found in violation of regulations pertaining to alcohol at off-campus fraternity events,” according to the Daily Aztec, the student newspaper.

Phi Gamma Delta was among 14 fraternities suspended by De la Torre on Friday following Hernandez’s hospitalization. The 14 are affiliated with the Interfraternity Council (IFC). All its chapter organizations under the council were suspended amid allegations of misconduct, according to SDSU, which said the decision was made “given the severity of this incident, and as the safety and wellbeing of students is a primary concern of the university.”

De la Torre noted that all but three of the 14 Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations were already under suspension or under investigation before Hernandez’s death.

The university did not say why the other chapters were suspended or are being investigated.

Evidence for a suspension can include discrimination, disorderly behavior, alcohol being served at sponsored events, drug use, the lack of insurance at a major event, and other violations of the student code, and de la Torre factored that information into her decision, the university said.

The chapters suspended also include Alpha Epsilon Pi, Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Upsilon, Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Psi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Theta Chi and Zeta Beta Tau.

Todd Shelton, spokesman for the North American Inter-Fraternity Conference, the parent organization of the Inter-Fraternity Council, said they have been in contact with university officials and are monitoring the investigation. He declined further comment on the suspensions, saying it would be inappropriate at the current time.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of the student at San Diego State University and offer our condolences to his family and friends,” he said.

The university said the chapters will remain suspended until it determines its next steps.


This story has been clarified to say 14 Interfraternity Council chapters on campus were suspended, and that it occurred Friday after the student was hospitalized.

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