VCU expels Delta Chi from campus three months after freshman death

The Delta Chi fraternity was expelled from VCU on May 28. Cary Street houses the fraternity's house. Photo by Wessam Hazaymeh

Katharine DeRosa, News Editor

VCU permanently removed the Delta Chi fraternity from campus on May 28 for violating university policies in the moments leading up to the death of freshman Adam Oakes, according to VCU spokesperson Michael Porter.  

The Student Organization Conduct Committee Chairs found Delta Chi responsible for violating university policies dealing with COVID-19, recruitment activities, alcohol and hazing, according to Porter.

Oakes was found dead on Feb. 27 after attending a Delta Chi fraternity party on the 100 block of West Clay Street, about seven blocks from campus. Oakes’ family said he was a victim of hazing.

The Delta Chi fraternity was suspended by both VCU and the national fraternity organization the day after Oakes death. The fraternity is now no longer recognized on campus, according to Porter. The national Delta Chi fraternity organization removed the VCU chapter from its website after it was suspended. 

“This permanent removal as a recognized student organization is another important step in holding fraternities and sororities at VCU accountable for organizational misconduct,” Porter stated in an email.

VCU announced the expulsion of Delta Chi on Thursday, nine days after the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office concluded Oakes died due to ethanol toxicity on May 25. Ethanol toxicity is a form of alcohol poisoning, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information

VCU freshman Adam Oakes was found dead on Feb. 27 at a West Clay Street residence after attending a Delta Chi fraternity event. Photo by Wessam Hazaymeh

The manner of death was ruled as accidental by the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office. The Richmond Police Department is leading the investigation of Oakes’ death, according to Porter.

Dyad Strategies, a firm which specializes in Greek life, is conducting a review of fraternity and sorority life at VCU. The university is expecting a full report this summer, according to Porter.

VCU halted all of Greek life in the spring semester during a cessation period which began on March 12. During this period, all participants in fraternities and sororities were required to complete training sessions involving alcohol and bystander training.

“VCU is committed to closely reviewing that report, when complete, for possible additional organizational or individual violations of university policies and to identify additional opportunities to strengthen our policies and procedures for fraternity and sorority life,” Porter stated in an email.

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