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VCU recommends permanent ban of Delta Chi if chapter found responsible for misconduct

A former member of Greek life at VCU speaks out about Adam Oakes.
A former member of Greek life at VCU speaks out about Adam Oakes.(Source: NBC12 | Source: NBC12)
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 10:11 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - VCU is calling for the permanent removal of Delta Chi through disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Division of Student Affairs if they are found responsible for misconduct in the wake of Adam Oakes’ death.

The proceedings come more than two months after Oakes was found unresponsive in an off-campus home. His family believes Adam was forced to drink a large bottle of whiskey as part of his initiation into Delta Chi.

VCU says this process starts with a report and a recommendation to leaders of VCU’s Student Organization Conduct Committee. The report, submitted by VCU’s Division of Student Affairs, is based on multiple reports and allegations regarding chapter events, COVID-19 protocols, recruitment activities, alcohol, and hazing in the hours before Adam Oakes’ death.

Delta Chi fraternity’s national office issued a cease-and-desist order for the chapter on Feb. 27. The university also took similar action the following day.

Courtney White, Adam Oakes’ cousin, believes this is a small, but mighty win for their family.

“I really see it as a great step in the right direction,” White said. “I want that fraternity to understand the reality of the situation that someone is not here anymore.”

White hopes the university will take this opportunity to set an example for accountability.

“They obviously see that change is needed and that something needs to happen and this fraternity has a pattern of reckless behavior that has endangered the lives and safety of their students,” she said. “We don’t want any other family to go through what we’ve gone through. We truly feel like if they follow through this and if they expel Delta Chi, they’re ultimately preventing another life lost.”

The Richmond Police Department is continuing its investigation into Adam Oakes’ death. The cause of Adam’s death has not yet been released by the medical examiner.

The full statement from VCU can be found below:

On Monday, May 3, VCU’s Division of Student Affairs initiated disciplinary proceedings against the Delta Chi Fraternity chapter at VCU with a recommendation that the Chapter be permanently removed from VCU if reported allegations result in findings that it is responsible for misconduct.

The process starts with a report and a recommendation to leaders of VCU’s Student Organization Conduct Committee. The report submitted by VCU’s Division of Student Affairs is based on multiple reports and allegations of violations of university policies and directives regarding chapter events, COVID-19 protocols, recruitment activities, alcohol and hazing on February 26 and 27 in the hours before the death of VCU student Adam Oakes.

The next steps include a review of the report by VCU’s Student Organization Conduct Committee and a determination if violations occurred and, if so, the appropriate sanctions. VCU expects the process to be complete this summer.

The Richmond Police Department investigation continues into Adam’s death. The ongoing police investigation, and any subsequent VCU Student Code of Conduct investigation, may identify additional information or violations of university policy. If so, the initiating report against Delta Chi, and recommendations, maybe updated accordingly

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