A 19-year old freshman at Baruch College has died as a result of injuries he gained during hazing, authorities say.
Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng, who was pledging Pi Delta Psi, took part in a hazing ritual while on a retreat in Pennsylvania over the weekend. The game involved blindfolded pledges making their way through a tunnel formed by people with a weight strapped to their backs; the goal was to see who could make it to the end of the tunnel still standing after the members of the “tunnel” tried tackling them. Deng was reportedly knocked down several times and suffered major brain trauma.
Pi Delta Psi’s National Executive President Andy Meng said the event was unsanctioned by the fraternity and assured the public that the organization is working with investigators.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Michael and request privacy during this period,” Meng said. “Michael will be greatly missed.”
No charges have been filed at this point; the college issued a statement on the incident, saying they had a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing.
“Baruch College has a zero tolerance policy regarding hazing. Michael’s death is a deeply painful reminder that no individual should ever be put into a position where his or her personal safety is in jeopardy,” the statement read.
Part of the investigation will include why Deng was not taken to the hospital for at least 30 minutes after he was injured; reports say he was brought into the house, where he was unresponsive, before fraternity members sought help. He was placed on life support but died on Monday morning.