News

Undergraduates Celebrate Second Consecutive Virtual Housing Day

News

Dean of Students Office Discusses Housing Day, Anti-Racism Goals

News

Renowned Cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bernard Lown Dies at 99

News

Native American Nonprofit Accuses Harvard of Violating Federal Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

News

U.S. Reps Assess Biden’s Progress on Immigration at HKS Event

Frat Party Leaves MIT First-Year In Coma

By Marc J. Ambinder, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

An MIT undergraduate remains in critical condition at a Boston hospital after lapsing into a coma during an MIT fraternity party on Saturday night.

The fraternity-Phi Gamma Delta has been suspended pending investigation by MIT's administration.

Scott Krueger, an 18-year-old first-year from Orchard Park, New York, was rushed to Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital just after midnight yesterday morning.

According to Kruger's cousin, William W. Burke-White '98, Kruger is in a coma "caused by a lack of oxygen subsequent to alcohol poisoning."

Late Sunday, Krueger was still in intensive care "and will be there for a few days," said hospital spokesperson Maura E. McClaughlin.

In a Web site press release, MIT spokesperson Robert J. Sales said campus police received a call just before midnight from the fraternity house reporting that Krueger was unconscious.

Boston Emergency Medical Services workers arrived soon after the call was placed and transported Krueger to the hospital, the press release stated.

Sales was unavailable for comment yesterday.

MIT's Dean of Student Life Margaret R. Bates said in the release that the university is "obviously very concerned. Our thoughts are with his family."

The Boston Police Department is conducting a joint investigation of the incident in cooperation with MIT police.

"The trademark purple shades at the four-story fraternity house at 28, the Fenway were pulled shut yesterday afternoon. Stacks of plastic glass holders were piled up near the front door.

"Our hearts are with Scott," said a fraternity member in an interview with The Crimson yesterday. The member, who asked to remain anonymous, said he spoke for "Joe Unity"-the collective name for Phi Gamma Delta's first-year inductees.

The member refused to comment on the investigation and the fraternity's suspension.

MIT's InterFraternity Council met in an emergency meeting late yesterday to discuss the incident, said Jennifer E. Lee, the editor-in-chief of the Tech, MIT's student paper.

An MIT sorority member who resides near the Phi Gamma Delta house said that Krueger was at least partially to blame for his condition.

"I don't think it's all [Phi Gamma Delta's] fault," she said. "No one forced him to drink."

She said prospective members of fraternities are aware that drinking is a common activity. "In frats, most people drink," she said.

But Burke-White said that even if Krueger agreed to participate in the event, he cannot be entirely blamed for the incident.

"Massachusetts State Law...says consent is not a defense against hazing," he said. "In the process of the party, he was required to consume a large quantity of alcohol."

Reports published in The Boston Herald peg Kruger's blood alcohol level at .410, more than five times the legal limit in Massachusetts.

Burke-White also said that after Krueger became unconscious, he was left unattended by those at the party.

Krueger's family flew in from New York early yesterday and is with him at the hospital, Burke-White said. "[We ask]...that people's prayers and thoughts could be with him."

As a newcomer to MIT, Krueger was enthusiastic about engineering, Burke-White said.

"Scott was thrilled to have the chance to come to MIT and to Boston," he said.

A National Trend?

Phi Gamma Delta is one of 37 MIT fraternities, housing over 1,000 undergraduates.

Incidents of alcohol-induced comas and illnesses at fraternities across the country have made national headlines this year.

Louisiana State University officials suspended an affiliated fraternity when a student pledge died after consuming a large quantity of alcohol late last month. And two national fraternities announced plans to go dry within recent months.

Fraternities are not permitted at Harvard because they are not wholly autonomous organizations and because "quite frankly, some fraternities have reputations for incidents like this," said Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III.

Epps said he foresees a nationwide trend against fraternities as alleged incidents of alcohol abuse by undergraduates become increasingly common.

"I see...more colleges trying to get rid of fraternities," he said.

Epps said he also wants to warn all "underground fraternities" at Harvard to "cease all activities at the College."

Burke-White said he hopes what happened to his cousin can serve a larger purpose.

"I hope that this can be a wake-up call to a system that is in serious need of reform," he said. "This kind of tragedy can be prevented

"I don't think it's all [Phi Gamma Delta's] fault," she said. "No one forced him to drink."

She said prospective members of fraternities are aware that drinking is a common activity. "In frats, most people drink," she said.

But Burke-White said that even if Krueger agreed to participate in the event, he cannot be entirely blamed for the incident.

"Massachusetts State Law...says consent is not a defense against hazing," he said. "In the process of the party, he was required to consume a large quantity of alcohol."

Reports published in The Boston Herald peg Kruger's blood alcohol level at .410, more than five times the legal limit in Massachusetts.

Burke-White also said that after Krueger became unconscious, he was left unattended by those at the party.

Krueger's family flew in from New York early yesterday and is with him at the hospital, Burke-White said. "[We ask]...that people's prayers and thoughts could be with him."

As a newcomer to MIT, Krueger was enthusiastic about engineering, Burke-White said.

"Scott was thrilled to have the chance to come to MIT and to Boston," he said.

A National Trend?

Phi Gamma Delta is one of 37 MIT fraternities, housing over 1,000 undergraduates.

Incidents of alcohol-induced comas and illnesses at fraternities across the country have made national headlines this year.

Louisiana State University officials suspended an affiliated fraternity when a student pledge died after consuming a large quantity of alcohol late last month. And two national fraternities announced plans to go dry within recent months.

Fraternities are not permitted at Harvard because they are not wholly autonomous organizations and because "quite frankly, some fraternities have reputations for incidents like this," said Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III.

Epps said he foresees a nationwide trend against fraternities as alleged incidents of alcohol abuse by undergraduates become increasingly common.

"I see...more colleges trying to get rid of fraternities," he said.

Epps said he also wants to warn all "underground fraternities" at Harvard to "cease all activities at the College."

Burke-White said he hopes what happened to his cousin can serve a larger purpose.

"I hope that this can be a wake-up call to a system that is in serious need of reform," he said. "This kind of tragedy can be prevented

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags