Here is the link.

Excerpt: from WNYT’s Anna Meillar


ALBANY – Campus wide, University at Albany students are mourning the death of Trevor Duffy, the 19-year-old sophomore who died after an underage drinking party on Hamilton Street.

“Everyone’s kind of shaken up. No one likes to see that,” said Henry Moers, a senior at the university.

His death is sparking a conversation on social media, with students sharing their thoughts on the anonymous social media app called Yik Yak.

“About frats and hazing and how dangerous they can be,” said freshman, Marissa Guttenberg.

Students say the incident likely happened within an underground fraternity- an organized social group similar to Greek life, but one that is not recognized by the university.

“There’s a lot of underground frats. You hear about it, but you’re told also by anybody in charge, like your R.A., not to join them because they get risky,” said Guttenberg.

One of those risks? Students say some underground fraternities turn what should be a social activity into a dangerous challenge.

“You have to drink, you have to take another shot, you have to do more and more to be accepted,” said Gerald Finn, a senior.

Here is the link from New

According to the West Virginia student newspaper, WVU Kappa Sigma (Gamma Phi Chapter) pledge may have been participating in Big-Little Night, a benign event usually unless there is a traditional expectation that there will be a bottle exchange or “challenge to drink” with the expectation that the pledge will get wildly intoxicated. In that case, the line into a situation of criminal or perhaps non-criminal (depending on state statute) hazing has been crossed.  Almost always, if a death occur, authorities will investigate the chapter treasurer and president, as well as the big brother, to see who furnished alcohol to an under-aged prospective member. At this stage, information is to scant to call this a hazing death.

Here is a brief report from the Boston Globe.


An application for criminal charges against the students was filed Thursday, said Police Chief Steven Wojnar. Police acted after an investigation into an alleged off-campus hazing incident at the school in Dudley on Nov. 7, according to Wojnar and a statement from the school.

“Take me home, Country Roads”

November 15th, 2014

Theron and Kimberly Burch donated his organs.

Buffalo has had hazing deaths of Scott Krueger (MIT, Fiji) and in nearby Alfred (NY), Chuck Stenzel of Alfred University (Klan Alpine). Nolan’s death cause has yet to be determined. As I reported earlier in this blog, this WVU Kappa Sigma chapter was reactivated 2007-2008 and one of the founding brothers died young last December.

The Buffalo News has, in my opinion, the best balanced media coverage on the death of Nolan Burch at West Virginia University’s now defunct Kappa Sigma (Gamma Chapter) house. A relative told the Bflo News there had been a drinking challenge issued to Nolan and perhaps at least one individual. Local authorities report a second individual was reported ill.

Excerpt from the Buffalo News, my former hometown newspaper (for which I wrote two articles at age 16).

Toxicology reports continue.  Police will investigate if hazing was a factor or if this was unrelated to hazing. Nolan was just 17 when he began pledging. His birthday was this month. Numerous deaths on or around birthdays (usually age 21) have been occurring for many years as challengers invite the birthday celebrant to consume 18 or 21 (or more) drinks in one evening.

Excerpt from the Buffalo News (Nolan was a h.s. grad of Buffalo-based Canisius High School)

“We are investigating all aspects of this party, and I mean all aspects,” Morgantown Police Chief Edward Preston said, adding that his detectives have spoken to Burch’s family and also to people who were at the frat house when Burch collapsed unconscious to the floor.

Police said Burch was gravely ill, was unresponsive and had no pulse when officers responded to a medical emergency call at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house at 11:52 p.m. Wednesday. Police and emergency medical technicians administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the teen, and an ambulance rushed him to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

Based on conversations with Burch’s family, a family friend told The News that Burch was “challenged” by others present at the frat house into drinking large amounts of liquor at the party. Preston said he could not provide specifics on what happened at the party at this point in the investigation.

“His parents are in a situation that I wouldn’t wish on anybody,” the police chief said. “Nobody who sends their 18-year-old son or daughter off to college should ever have to deal with something like this.”


About 24 people sang Country Roads in Nolan’s dormitory suite to honor hime