An 18-Year-Old College Student's Death Is Being Investigated As A Fraternity Hazing Incident

Max Gruver / Via Facebook

A Louisiana State University student died at a hospital Wednesday night after being rushed from a fraternity house following a possible hazing incident, officials said.

Maxwell Gruver, 18, was taken to a Baton Rouge, Louisiana hospital for what school officials called a “medical emergency” and he was later pronounced dead.

The Louisiana State University police are investigating Gruver's death as a “potential hazing incident,” LSU Media Relations Director Ernie Ballard said during a news conference Thursday.

“We are investigating this matter with the utmost seriousness,” LSU President F. King Alexander said at the news conference.

Alexander said all Greek life has been suspended indefinitely on the campus pending the results of the investigation.

“Hazing is dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable. And it will not be tolerated at LSU,” Alexander said.

Twitter: @johnstonvon / Via Twitter

Gruver, of Roswell, Georgia, was a pledge at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The fraternity's general headquarters said in a statement it is investigating the LSU chapter of Phi Delta Theta after the death and is cooperating with university administrators and law enforcement.

“We’re committed to investigating this situation thoroughly. The chapter and any individuals who are found to have violated our policies will be held accountable,” said Bob Biggs, Executive Vice President and CEO at Phi Delta Theta.

By Thursday afternoon, the website for the LSU chapter of the fraternity was down.

Twitter: @lsutigertv / Via Twitter

Phi Delta Theta, which was founded in 1848 and now has 183 chapters across the US and Canada, became the largest fraternity to implement an alcohol-free housing policy starting in 2000.

“Phi Delta Theta chapter properties are to remain free from alcohol by anyone, at any time, under any circumstance,” the policy states.

Images on social media showed people at the LSU fraternity earlier this year promoting parties at the Phi Delta Theta house.

Twitter: @patrick_canter / Via Twitter

Since March 2015, at least three fraternities have been kicked off the LSU campus, according to an investigation by KATC.

A student died in 2015 after the Beta Kappa Gamma Fraternity's retreat, an annual tradition that involved staying overnight in the woods, the station reported. Praneet Karki, 22, was pronounced dead after he was taken to a hospital in the morning.

A toxicology screen showed no drugs or alcohol in Karki's system, and his cause of death was ruled as “arrhythmia, likely exercise induced,” KATC reported. The night Karki died pledges had been required to run relays, do push-ups, lift cinder blocks over their heads for extend periods of time, and perform other acts of extreme exercising.

The LSU chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was investigated for locking new members in a bathroom and forcing them to drink 40 beers, and was later placed on probation.

Just last year, LSU officials put the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha on probation after two new members were sent to the hospital in the spring, KATC reported. The allegations filed against Lambda Chi Alpha said new members were deprived of sleep and had prescription medications were withheld.

The fraternity Acacia was kicked off LSU's campus for three years after forcing pledges to crawl through cayenne pepper on a wet floor as well as drink mixtures of leftover food and spices.


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