Fall at Skulls under investigation
Though Skulls is a dry fraternity, police say alcohol was present on New Year's Eve
January 12, 2011, 2:21 am·
Penn is currently investigating the death of Matthew Crozier, a 20-year-old who suffered fatal head injuries after a fall at the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity house — commonly known as “Skulls” — on Dec. 31.
Crozier, a graduate of local Philadelphia La Salle College High School and resident of Yardley, Pa., was attending a New Year’s Eve party hosted by members of Skulls when the accident occurred. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, he fell nearly 30 feet from the second to the first floor of the house, located at 3539 Locust Walk. He died Jan. 5 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Crozier was a junior Division III basketball player at John Carroll University in Ohio. “Matt was everything you hope for when you bring someone into your program,” JCU basketball coach Mike Moran said in a press statement. “He worked hard, had the right attitude and was an excellent representative of his family, his community, his school and his team.”
“This is a tragic loss, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the young man’s family and friends,” University spokeswoman Phyllis Holtzman said. Holtzman added that Skulls is a privately owned fraternity house.
Skulls brother and College senior Matt Amalfitano shared similar sentiments.
“I think collectively we all understand that it’s an absolute tragedy,” Amalfitano, who also serves as the Undergraduate Assembly president, said. “No one ever expects an incident like this to happen, and our first priority is to figure out what we can do to help the family.”
In an official press release, the Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity expressed its “sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased student.”
Outgoing Skulls President and Wharton junior Max Holz declined to comment on how the incident may affect rush events.
Phi Kappa Sigma also stated that it is “working in partnership with the UPenn administration and local law enforcement to fully investigate the nature of the accident including the social event that was held by several members that evening.”
Phi Kappa Sigma is a dry fraternity according to its Risk Management Policy, meaning “no alcohol may be present on Chapter property at any time.”
The Philadelphia Daily News, however, reported that police said there was alcohol at the party, though it is yet unclear whether it had anything to do with Crozier’s injury. The New Year’s Eve party was an unregistered event.
Potential repercussions for this could be severe, according to fraternity policy.
Phi Kappa Sigma’s Risk Management Policy states that “failure to abide by law, regulation, policy, or Fraternity standards may be cause for suspension of membership or discipline of the Chapter.”
Skulls, created at Penn in 1850, is the founding chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma.