By Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2020

SAN DIEGO (AP) - San Diego State University has launched an investigation into whether a student who represents 14 school fraternities promoted blackout drinking in a text message posted to social media in February.

An article in the campus newspaper Daily Aztec said that Interfraternity Council President Steven Plante had allegedly advocated blackout drinking on Feb. 8 on the messaging app GroupMe, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The story also reported that the text message contained a homophobic slur.

“My language was not meant in any sort of hateful, demeaning, or derogatory way whatsoever and I acknowledge that it is language I should never use again,” Plante said in a statement to the Daily Aztec.

Plante added that the message was intended to increase support for his 21st birthday celebration.

Plante did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Union-Tribune.

The investigation came as the university reviews student drinking and safety following the death of Dylan Hernandez, a freshman who fell out of a bunk bed and cracked his skull in November after a night of drinking with his fraternity, university officials said.

Since then, University President Adela de la Torre has issued a measure preventing some fraternities from recruiting new members and setting new rules for how, when and where Greek organizations can recruit and socialize.

Two task forces were also created to study the use and misuse of alcohol and other substances and to examine student health and safety.

“The allegations presented, if proven, indicate serious violations of not only the student organization code of conduct, but also the November 2019 Presidential order suspending all 14 IFC-affiliated organizations,” SDSU’s Student Life & Leadership office said in a statement to the Union-Tribune.

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