More than 24 hours after fraternities and sororities associated with Chico State were suspended, students and staff are reacting. Junior Dayna Fraser says, "I'm a little shocked that they suspended the system. I don't know that you could really put the blame on Greek life due to drinking, I think everybody is involved in drinking." Fraser is not in a sorority, but says that drinking is done by most students, and she doesn't understand why the Greeks are being singled-out.
Thursday, Chico State President Paul Zingg called a meeting of the Greeks, and he invited local media to attend. He said students won't receive a pass for calling 911 following the death of Sigma Pi Pledge Mason Sumnicht. Sumnicht was taken off life support, after becoming brain dead following a night of heavy drinking. His friends told authorities he was trying to drink 21 shots for his 21st birthday.
At the meeting, Zingg told the students it was unacceptable to host parties, then call 911 for help when they got out of control, then pelt emergency responders with bottles and other objects.
Charles Carter is director of Student Life and Leadership at Chico State. He graduated from the university in 1975. He says he's heartbroken by the decision, but says it's absolutely necessary. Says Carter, "I don't think the fights, the number of sex assaults weren't as high as now. There's something different about it then when I was in school. I think we have a real problem how the Greek life is taking the university seriously. If the Greek community does not figure out what to do differently, I think the President is committed to not having them here."
Carter says three fraternities are currently under investigation for hazing. He says one alumnus was allegedly involved, and while no arrests have been made, that could change if the Butte County District Attorney decides to file charges.