BATON ROUGE, La. — The Latest on a review of anti-hazing policies in Louisiana’s higher-education system (all times local):
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says the state’s higher-education system has “robust” anti-hazing policies in place but can do more to prevent tragedies like the recent death of Louisiana State University student.
Edwards spoke to reporters Thursday after meeting with leaders of the state’s higher-education system to discuss their efforts to prevent hazing and crack down on alcohol and drug abuse on campus.
Edwards asked system presidents to review their anti-hazing policies after the Sept. 14 death of Maxwell Gruver, an 18-year-old LSU freshman from Roswell, Georgia, who was trying to join the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. A coroner said the freshman’s blood-alcohol content was more than six times the legal limit for driving when he died after a night of drinking at the fraternity’s house.
Ten people were arrested last month on misdemeanor hazing charges in Gruver’s death. Four LSU fraternities have been suspended or closed since Gruver’s death.
Two lawsuits claim fraternity members at a Louisiana university hazed a pledge and kept him awake for three days before he fell asleep at the wheel of a car that struck and killed another student.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette student Michael Gallagher Jr.’s car struck and killed 23-year-old Rustam Nizamutdinov last November. He sued the Kappa Sigma fraternity and university officials last Friday. Nizamutdinov’s mother sued the fraternity in September.
Gallagher’s suit claims university officials knew or should have known about a pattern of hazing by Kappa Sigma chapter members before the deadly collision.
The suits come amid a broad review of hazing policies in the state’s higher-education system. Gov. John Bel Edwards called for the review after the Sept. 14 death of a Louisiana State University student.