Investigation at Skulls continues
No rush could mean no fraternity pledges for the time being, affecting potential recruits
January 14, 2011, 4:46 am·
The death of John Caroll University student Matthew Crozier, a Yardley, Pa. resident who suffered fatal head injuries at the Phi Kappa Sigma chapter house on New Year’s, is still undergoing investigation nearly two weeks after the incident. As a result, Phi Kappa Sigma — or “Skulls” — rush events have meanwhile been suspended.
“Until investigations are complete, the fraternity has been precluded from hosting formal chapter events and activities, including recruitment,” Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs spokesman Scott Reikofski wrote in an e-mail. He declined to comment specifically on investigations concerning Crozier or potential outcomes for the fraternity.
Crozier was attending an unregistered New Year’s Eve party at Skulls when the accident occurred. He fell nearly 30 feet from the second to the first floor of the house, located on 3539 Locust Walk, and died on Jan. 5 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Daily News reported that police said there was alcohol at the event, although it is still unclear whether it was related to Crozier’s injury. As a dry fraternity, alcohol goes against Skulls’ “Risk Management Policy” that states “no alcohol may be present on chapter property at any time.”
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family and friends,” Reikofski wrote. “At this point, we’re working to support students, many just returning to campus and learning this news, and our Greek community through this difficult time.”
Exclusion from rush could have severe consequences for Skulls. Although Interfraternity Council President and Wharton junior Harris Heyer declined to comment on potential repercussions, it is possible there may be no fraternity pledges for the time being. This would not only affect Skulls, but also their potential recruits. Students who had planned to join the fraternity may be forced to consider other options.
One prospective freshman, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the subject, stated that “it definitely eliminates [Skulls] as an option. It’s annoying because it’s one of the nicest houses, and it has a really diverse and almost eclectic group of guys.”
He was conflicted, but understanding, of the decision to exclude Skulls from rush.
“It depends on the context and the rules of the University,” he said. “I’m sad to see it happen. It’s a traumatic event, and I can imagine that it would affect rush. I feel like a serious tragedy like this would deserve a serious action like canceling rush.”
Crozier’s death has overall saddened the Greek community. Heyer stated in an e-mail, “Since the accident occurred over break, some people are still finding out about it now, but obviously the common reaction is that it was a tragedy.”
“We are all deeply saddened that this has happened,” Heyer wrote on behalf of the IFC, “and obviously we are going to do our best to be helpful to University offices that are involved in the investigation, but first and foremost we send our condolences to Matthew’s family.”
No further details on the investigation have been released.