BOSTON (CBS) – On Monday night, nearly three days after a BU freshman was found unconscious in an Allston apartment, a Boston Police officer in his vehicle is still standing guard at the building’s front door. It’s not the fraternity’s house, but rather a private apartment on Wadsworth Street that had been rented to some members of Sigma Alpha Mu, the Boston University fraternity that has since been suspended.
Tony Barksdale, a 19-year-old BU engineering student, died after attending an unauthorized fraternity social event here Friday night. The university describes it as a “meet and greet” event for young men like Barksdale. The freshman was in the early stages of “rushing”, or preparing to become a fraternity brother.
Tonight, Boston Police and the university think alcohol may have played a role in Barksdale’s death.
The day after the party, a fraternity member called both the university and the fraternity’s national office to report the party and to admit that there was underage drinking going on.
The national office suspended Sigma Alpha Mu’s charter, and BU officials then suspended the fraternity from conducting events.
Ken Elmore, BU’s Dean of Students, told WBZ that while he’s deeply saddened by Barksdale’s death, he is also frustrated that the school’s warnings have gone unheeded.
Elmore says BU officials have met with fraternities “a dozen times this school year alone” to talk about the dangers of alcohol abuse.
Ultimately, he says, it is up to the students to protect themselves and to watch out for each other.