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Bowling Green sophomore dies after alleged alcohol-related hazing incident at fraternity

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 6:27 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A Bowling Green State University student is dead after he was allegedly involved in a hazing incident at one of the university’s fraternities.

On Thursday, the Lucas County Coroner’s office announced that an autopsy had been performed but the cause of death remains under investigation.

Stone Foltz, a sophomore from central Ohio, was confirmed dead by a family attorney on Sunday. He was initially taken to the hospital in Bowling Green on Thursday night after an alcohol-related hazing incident at the off-campus Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house. Foltz was then flown by air ambulance to Toledo Hospital.

According to friends, Foltz, 20, was on life support as of Friday night as plans were being made to donate his organs.

Two of Foltz’s friends said they went to the hospital to say their goodbyes to their friend. One friend said he wants to see those responsible for Foltz’s death receive jail time.

“The hazing thing is terrible,” friend Mason Ross said. “If they want people to be in their frat or whatever, they should take that person in under their wing like a brother and not make them do things they don’t want to do. Those games they played cost me my friend. It cost me my brother, a good friend that I’ve known for 15 years. I would love to see them go to jail.”

There have been no criminal charges or arrests as authorities continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Scott Frank with the BG Police Division at 419-352-2571. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the Wood County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-54-CRIME (419-352-0077).

On Monday, Bowling Green Police released a report from the incident, saying they responded to an unresponsive male at a home in the 900 block of Klotz Rd. just before 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Office released the audio from the 9-1-1 call the night of the incident, during which the caller tells the dispatcher Foltz is unresponsive after consuming alcohol. The dispatcher then assists another person in the room in administering CPR until emergency crews arrive. You can listen to the entire call below; it has been edited only to protect the privacy of the caller. The content of the call is graphic and difficult to hear, so discretion is strongly cautioned.

Foltz was a student in the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business. He was a 2019 graduate of Buckeye Valley High School in Delaware, about 30 minutes north of Columbus.

A GoFundMe has been started to support the Foltz family. You can find it at this link.

The incident happened at the off-campus house of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. A statement from the North American Interfraternity Conference said it’s currently supporting a new law before the Ohio Legislature that would make hazing a felony.

University Response

Meanwhile, BGSU placed Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) on interim suspension. On Sunday morning, the PIKE Greek letters were removed from its on-campus residence.

The international PIKE organization issued a statement, saying based upon an investigation into the incident, it will pursue the permanent suspension of the chapter and expulsion of all chapter members from the International Fraternity.

The University also suspended all new member intake and social activities for Greek Life organizations on and off-campus. According to a letter sent to students from BGSU President Rodney Rogers, each organization must supply a comprehensive plan to safely restart before any changes will be made in the suspension.

“These measures will be enforced until each chapter individually and successfully works with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Office of the Dean of Students on comprehensive plans to safely restart. To do so, chapters may continue to conduct organization-wide and executive board meetings virtually with pre-approval from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life,” the letter reads in part.

The University has set up an email address for BGSU students to share condolences with the Foltz family at sympathy@bgsu.edu. BGSU will also work to connect students with counselors, both remotely and in-person, by contacting the BGSU Counseling Center.

Demands for Change

On Tuesday, March 9, dozens of students gathered outside the Pi Kappa Alpha house on BGSU’s campus to pay their respects and demand changes from the university in the wake of Foltz’s death. Students in attendance say they want the school to permanently expel the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity from campus and set up a clear system for students to report issues of harassment, assault, and hazing connected to the Greek system. They also called for the resignation of Dean Stacey Allan and the advisors to the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life for “the ways they have enabled dangerous practices from Fraternity & Sorority Life.”

Following the protest, BGSU leaders released a statement which said, in part, “Nearly 75 students from across our community came together today to grieve the tragic loss of Stone Foltz and peacefully express their voices. Many of them shared personal experiences and concerns. We hear them. We support them, and we share in their outrage about the alleged hazing activity from Thursday night. Hazing in any form has no place at BGSU.”

Also on March 9, Gov. Mike DeWine met with the presidents of all of Ohio’s public universities to discuss the incident and policies regarding hazing in general. Following that meeting, the governor’s office confirmed that Mr. DeWine supports legislative action regarding hazing. In their statement, BGSU leadership also indicated support for legislation, including the institution of Collin’s Law, which would institute tougher punishments for hazing.

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