Michigan State University (MSU) and the Pi Alpha Phi national organization have suspended the university’s fraternity chapter after alcohol consumption was suspected to have played a part in the death of 21-year-old Vietnamese American junior Phat Nguyen.
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Student death: Nguyen, a MSU Broad College of Business student, died off campus early Nov. 20 morning, according to an East Lansing Police Department news release.
- The release stated that police responded to a call from the 400 block of Stoddard Avenue where four individuals were found passed out. Nguyen, who was among them, was unresponsive and not breathing.
- First responders, police and East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD) pronounced Nguyen dead at the scene by the Ingham County Medical Examiner.
- The three other individuals were transported to Sparrow Hospital for further medical attention.
- According to the release, the police’s initial investigation found that “alcohol consumption could [have played] a factor” in Nguyen’s death.
- Chief investigator and supervisor in the Office of the Medical Examiner at Sparrow Hospital Michelle Fox confirmed to the Lansing State Journal that her office handled Nguyen’s autopsy.
- Police said they will not know the cause of death until all toxicology tests have been completed in six to eight weeks.
Fraternity pledge: Nguyen was one of four new recruits of MSU’s Pi Alpha Phi fraternity, according to a Nov. 19 Facebook post by the fraternity, whose house is located at 413 Stoddard Ave. in East Lansing.
- The post included seven photos of the new recruits with the caption, “WELCOME TO THE BEST MOTHERF*CKING HOUSE IN THE UNIVERSE BOYS!!!!!”
- Nguyen’s Instagram showed his interest in modeling, and he was a brand ambassador for startup clothing brand Displaced By Design.
Statements and responses: Michigan State University and Pi Alpha Phi national organization have yet to make public statements condemning the acts of the university’s fraternity chapter as of Tuesday.
- In an email to Lansing State Journal, Pi Alpha Phi’s national board confirmed the chapter’s suspension because of Nguyen’s death: “The interim suspension includes a cessation of all activities by the student chapter,” the email said.
- University spokesperson Dan Olsen told Lansing State Journal Nov. 24 that the incident involving the fraternity caused the suspension of its registered student organization status, which means it can no longer host events on campus, access any of their university funds or accounts, participate in other campus events representing their organization, nor market or recruit students on campus to join their group.
- Dozens of students held a candlelit vigil outside of MSU’s Broad College of Business to mourn Nguyen on Monday, according to WLNS News. During the event, his friends and fellow classmates shared memories they had with him and talked about his selflessness and infectious smile. “His candle burnt out too early,” one student said. “But his light will still shine forever.”
Feature Image Courtesy of PAPhiMSU