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Phi Gamma Delta Freshman Victim of Alcohol Poisoning

Courtesy of MIT News Office
Scott S. Krueger '01

By FrankDabek
Associate News Editor

Scott S. Krueger '01 died last night at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, according to wire reports early this morning. Krueger was found unconscious in his room at Phi Gamma Delta late Friday night, apparently suffering from alcohol poisoning after drinking excessively during a fraternity event. He was in a coma for three days before his death.

Krueger's blood alcohol level was 0.41 percent when he arrived at the hospital Saturday morning. As a result of this incident all fraternity, sorority and independent living group activities involving alcohol have been voluntarily suspended and all dormitory activities will be alcohol-free pending a review of alcohol policies.

MIT Campus Police were notified that Krueger was unconscious at approximately 11:56 p.m Friday. Boston Police, Fire Department and EMS officers responded after the Campus Police called 911.

Boston police reported finding Krueger "unresponsive [and] unconscious" at approximately 12:12 a.m. in his basement room at Fiji. The police report stated that "several empty alcohol bottles and fresh vomit [were] observed in [the] victim's room."

According to Robert M. Randolph, senior dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, "they (the pledges) had just been told who their big brothers were." In addition, Randolph said, "they were celebrating with alcohol."

Representatives of the MIT chapter of Phi Gamma Delta did not respond to requests for comment.

On Sunday, President Charles M. Vest released a statement saying "my thoughts and prayers, and those of my wife Becky, go out to Scott Krueger, his family, and all those touched by this terrible tragedy."

Chapter suspended

Following this incident, the MIT Chapter of Fiji, Iota Mu, has been jointly suspended by MIT and the national Phi Gamma Delta fraternity pending an investigation.

While suspended "only the most basic operations of the chapter are allowed," according to Executive Director of Phi Gamma Delta, Bill Martin. Fiji will not be permitted to hold social events or initiate new members while suspended.

In addition, the Interfraternity Council unanimously passed a resolution agreeing to "voluntarily cancel all events in which alcohol is involved until all FSILG and IFC risk management policies have been reviewed," according to a statement released Sunday.

Iddo Gilon '98, president of the IFC, said, "We have the commitment of the FSILGs to make this review possible." Gilon did not speculate on what specific changes might be made to the policies.

"This is the first accident of its nature," Gilon said. "In outcome, it is an isolated incident."

Neal H. Dorow, assistant dean for Residence and Campus Activities, who serves as adviser to fraternities, sororities and independent living groups, refused to make any comment on this issue.

The Dormitory Council also announced late Monday night that all dormitory functions will be alcohol free for an indefinite period of time pending a review of the alcohol policies in Institute housing.

Ashesh P. Shah '98, president of Dormcon, said "hopefully we can resolve this [issue] and come up with new policies that are beneficial to students and to the administration."

Charges possible after incident

"We will press any criminal charges should they develop," said Sgt. Marjorie Hill of the Boston Police Department. Charges of "involuntary manslaughter at the least would result if the student dies," Hill said prior to Krueger's death.

In addition, following Krueger's hospitalization on Friday, Boston Police conducted a license premise inspection of the Fiji house. Following the inspection, Fiji was presented with charges of: serving alcohol to a minor, overdose of alcohol causing serious injury, debris blocking a second floor corridor and bicycle and debris blocking a fire exit in the basement. These charges were violations of Fiji's dormitory license, which is in the name of Daniel A. Hermann '98, Fiji treasurer.

According to Hill, representatives of Fiji must appear before a city licensing board to answer the charges.

An official of the licensing board said that the outcome of the charges could range from probation to the suspension of Fiji's dormitory license.

Blood alcohol levels dangerous

According to Arnold N. Weinberg, director of the MIT Medical Department, a blood alcohol level of 0.41 results from ingesting the equivalent of approximately 16 drinks. At this level of intoxication there is a 50 percent chance of death.

Jennifer Lane contributed to the reporting of this story.