Archive for Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kansas University continues investigation into hazing allegations at Phi Gamma Delta fraternity; victim discharged from hospital

September 28, 2010


As investigations continue into a Kansas University fraternity accused of hazing violations, a freshman injured at a fraternity party has been moved from a hospital to a rehabilitation center.

Matt Fritzie, a freshman from Stilwell, was discharged from KU Hospital to a rehab facility on Monday, a hospital spokesman said.

The spokesman could not comment further on Fritzie’s condition, but a fellow Phi Gamma Delta pledge said Tuesday that Fritzie initially was paralyzed from the chest down after injuring himself when he jumped into a makeshift pool Sept. 17.

Chris Fellows, a freshman from Kansas City, Mo., left the fraternity after the incident, saying “greek life wasn’t for me,” adding that the incident didn’t really contribute much to his decision to leave.

He said he’d spoken with Fritzie and his family the night Fritzie was injured, but hadn’t heard from them since.

Fellows was at the party where Fritzie was injured, and said the entire fraternity had created a pool by lining up sandbags in a parking lot, putting a tarp inside, and filling it with water from a hose. Fellows, who said he is about 6 feet tall, couldn’t remember exactly how deep the pool was, but said it was certainly no taller than his shoulders.

He said the party was the fraternity’s “Island Party,” an annual event put on by Phi Gamma Delta fraternity chapters across the country. Fellows said that although alcohol was consumed at the event, he wasn’t drinking, and he didn’t see Fritzie drinking either. It would have been illegal and against university policy for either Fellows or Fritzie — both freshmen — to have consumed alcohol at the party.

Though the fraternity is under investigation for hazing, Fellows said he had never personally experienced anything that he would consider hazing, and he didn’t see or hear whether anyone had encouraged Fritzie to jump into the pool.

The university’s investigation into the fraternity continues, and a hearing on the issue could be scheduled for next week, said Todd Cohen, a university spokesman. The fraternity’s international organization is also investigating the incident.

Fellows said he left the party after Fritzie was flown by air ambulance to a hospital around 8 p.m. — Fellows followed him to the hospital — though he’d heard from friends that the party continued after Fritzie left.

“People started showing up and just didn’t know,” Fellows said.


Zachary Stoltenberg 5 years, 2 months ago

So, the article is based on a bunch of hearsay from individuals no longer associated with either party actually involved. That's some impressive investigative journalism. LJWorld, how about you hold off on the articles until you actually have some real information.

drnater 5 years, 2 months ago

do you really expect this kid to admit he was drinking? also unless he was babysitting fritzie how is he suppose to know whether he was drinking or not? this is a joke, of course its illegal, that's why they won't admit. where's the toxicology report? the hospital had to know if there was alcohol in his system because otherwise they can't use medicines to ease any pain. this article is as pointed out above, worthless.

Tim Quest 5 years, 2 months ago

It says he was paralyzed from the chest down. Do you even know what "a quad" means?

rockchalk14 5 years, 2 months ago

This is ridiculous that this article is going off of something that an 18 year old had said. How do we know that Mr. Fellows was not drinking this night as well? And of COURSE he would say Greek Life isn't for him because his fraternity got in trouble and could be placed on permanent probation. If Matt Fritzie would have just drank a little too much and had to have gone to the hospital to let's say get his stomach pumped do you think Mr. Fellows would have said hmm Greek Life isn't for me? This kid obviously has no idea what he is talking about. This is a tragic incident, but he had no reason to have an entire article written about. 18 year olds need to think before speaking.

orbiter 5 years, 2 months ago

I agree, I don't think we should listen to what 18yr olds say either, even if they were at the party where this tragic event happened. 18yr olds aren't human. And yeah, he had no reason to have this article written about him, because I'm sure he had it commissioned.

kunine 5 years, 2 months ago

Chris Fellows is not a credible source, LJWorld, and should not be what you base an article off of. He is not a family spokesman, and if he were really a friend of Matt Fritzie, he wouldn't be giving out information that is not factual and obviously not something the family wants to talk about right now. He can speak about the pool and what it was made out of, but is NOT the person to talk about the current state of Matt and what he did that night. Chris, if you really were Matt's friend, you probably aren't anymore. And LJWorld, please don't write articles that are based off a college freshman who just wants to get his own name out.

Jim Williamson 5 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to thank the Phi Gamma Delta hosue president for chiming in.

kunine 5 years, 2 months ago

I misspoke when I said "current state," and I apologize. My reasoning for the comment about the family's wishes is that if their spokesperson or attorney or any family member has not made a public statement regarding the event, I think I would be correct to assume they want privacy at this time. I did not mean to attach Chris Fellows, but I do not think he is a credible source and I think most of this article should not have been published. Just my opinion, though.

Kookamooka 5 years, 2 months ago

Sounds less like hazing and more like fraternity boys gets seriously injured at a party. Hazing is much, much worse.

emaw 5 years, 2 months ago

what a bunch of bitter people we have posting on this article. GET A LIFE!

JustNoticed 5 years, 2 months ago

Baloney. It's a story today because the kid was discharged to rehab. The JW, lame as it often is, got what it could. And this, "... based off a college freshman who just wants to get his own name out." Wow, who the hell are you to make such an asinine assumption about what is in a kid's head? "... get his own name out." What does that even mean? As if it's some kind of thrill to see your name in print. You make it sound like he campaigned to be a source, to be quoted. No way. Reporters ask questions, kids answer. Get over yourself.

garyr 5 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Tom Wilson 5 years, 2 months ago

Will be interesting to see what Oxford (PDT's national office) does about this. They tend to come down very hard on chapters who are out of line for even the smallest infraction. I tend to agree with those who claim it looks more like an accident. But, we'll see.

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

I rather suspect Mr. Chris Fellows is somewhat in fear for his safety: He runs the risk of being attacked by "brothers" from "members" of this gosh, tacky little organization were he to be fully forthcoming, don'tcha think? He also runs the risk of being attacked; having his property attacked (car, next apartment, whatever) by OTHER "members" of the bankrupt Greek system, doesn't he? He's sort of a "marked person" were he to fully forthcoming about his reasons for leaving Fiji and the "Greek brotherhood".

Yeah, them frat boys....they're a bunch of swell dudes; real brothers.

Tim Quest 5 years, 2 months ago

Obviously, your extensive knowledge of the Greek system comes from TV shows and movies. Maybe a couple pulp fiction novels.

Because here on earth, in reality, that's not how it works at all.

garyr 5 years, 2 months ago

Why was my comment removed? Are we not allowed to express our personal point of view without severe repurcussions?

wmathews 5 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for catching it. It's been fixed.

smot 5 years, 2 months ago

The number of spine injuries from jumping head first into shallow waters is in the thousands every summer. Blaming this incident on "fraternity hazing" is irresponsible and it is not currently known whether this young man was forced to jump into the pool or whether he was drinking. The hatred of fraternities and the Greek systemis is clear from the commenters. Perhaps it is the commenter's opinion that these kind of events only happen at fraternity houses. Perhaps there is deeply rooted prejudice against fraternities and the Greek system which have prompted these comments. The only thing which is certain is that the commenters above should be ashamed of themselves for spewing vindictives out at an organization without knowing all the facts.

Alceste 5 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

GeoHawk15 5 years, 2 months ago

I don't really see how this relates to hazing, seems more of a side note. While this particular incident did occur at a frat party, this very easily could have happened at any party around campus. Blaming the greek system is a weak argument and does not address the root of the problem. Regardless of their affiliation, college kids drink and make stupid decisions, some with greater consequences than others.

babyboycat 5 years, 2 months ago

I think they should shut them ALL down. What a waist of money, time and energy.

MarshmallowsFTW 5 years, 2 months ago

I would love a waist of money, can I have some of yours?

mr_right_wing 5 years, 2 months ago

Put aside hazing for a moment.

If this kid is at all paralyzed long-term, this frat and maybe even KU better get their checkbooks out for the lawsuit on the way.

maucole 5 years, 2 months ago

My thoughts go out to the kid and his family. It's unfortunate that one stupid decision at a party can potentially impact the rest of your life. Hopefully, he will make a full recovery.

Joe Blackford II 5 years, 2 months ago

18YOs, NOT old enough to drink, but yeah, we can send them off to die in Iraq & Afghanistan, as they just want to get their name in the paper when they come back in a body bag . . . .

PDT, Kansas Delta, #334

"I'm Eighteen" is a 1970 song by rock band Alice Cooper . . . Rolling Stone included the song on their list "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" . . . . in Cooper's words, you're 'old enough to be drafted but not old enough to vote.''m_Eighteen

emaw 5 years, 2 months ago

When I was in college and someone would ask me if I was in a fraternity, my response was always the, I didn't have to buy my friends!

TheDefinition 5 years, 2 months ago

Says the guy who couldn't get into a fraternity...Every Man a Woman?

emaw 5 years, 2 months ago

hahahahah.......the definition? Is that a weak attempt at a nickname resembling the situation? And for your info I had no desire to join a frat... I attended several frat parties as a senior in high school and had that fraternity trying to get me to join for over a year. I was very cordial in my he77 no response!

TheDefinition 5 years, 2 months ago

No desire yet you attended "several" frat parties. Go back to Manhattan. Your jealousy from denied acceptance is obnoxious and annoying.

emaw 5 years, 2 months ago

If you read my post it states I attended several while in high school. As a high schooler I jumped at the chance to attend any college party that I could.....after realizing the type of guys that were in the frats (with the exception of a few) I realized that I would not want to be associated with these type of people. Sorry Definition but I was able to make friends and get girls without the help of rufies and themed parties!

bluedog 5 years, 2 months ago

It is a terrible accident and my sympathies are with the young man injured and his family. What bothers me the most is the lack of class of the fraternity to continue the party. It shows how little they cared.

Denny2009 5 years, 2 months ago

This doesn't seem like a hazing incident, someone just made a bad decision to dive headfirst into a shallow pool. I hope he recovers without any problems. To say these men weren't drinking is rediculous, it was obviously a bad choice that was influenced by the intoxicating effects of good ole' "courage juice." If these were pledges, then they were most likely given the task to build the pool, so they should have known the danger of diving into a shallow pool. Figi holds this party every year, when I attended KU years ago I remember lots of students attending this annual event without incident.

missmagoo 5 years, 2 months ago

So you have to be drinking to jump into a shallow pool? Not necessarily. I do agree that this doesn't sound like hazing. Maybe he had 20 hot girls cheering him on to do it! Who knows! Hopefully he recovers and is able to walk again and kids learn from incidents such as these.

missmagoo 5 years, 2 months ago

In addition, the title of this article says "hazing allegations." Perhaps "alleged hazing" would be more appropriate, as the student was injured, and THEN the investigation went underway as to how it happened and if there was hazing involved. No one reported hazing, to my knowledge. My two cents :)

dipweed 5 years, 2 months ago

LJ World....why is this incident hazing?

wmathews 5 years, 2 months ago

The university has said they're investigating whether or not it is hazing:

Whitney Mathews Online Editor

volunteer 5 years, 2 months ago

Had to make room for that oh, so necessary Provost for Diversity position.

drnater 5 years, 2 months ago

wait, if the party is at the house then how is she doing her job? you would think a bunch of drunken baffoons at a party, that is at their house, would scream "watch out, tonight might be the night they burn this place to the ground!" I take it house mothers don't really make sure the house doesn't burn down. I think I've seen this movie, oh ya Orange County! Someone call Jack Black ASAP!

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