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We have committed to timely and transparent communication following the death of one of our students earlier this week. We plan to honor that commitment.
Below is a message distributed this morning by Vice President for Student Success Kirsten Turner to students engaged in Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) activities on our campus. Follow-up meetings with FSL student leaders also are taking place today.
The message outlines new steps we’re taking to further ensure the health and well-being of our students. These steps also increase awareness and education around our students’ responsibilities with respect to critical issues such as hazing, alcohol use and bystander intervention. In short, the steps include:
- Suspending activities of new members of Interfraternity Council (IFC) chapters indefinitely.
- Requiring new training for all IFC chapter members focusing on bystander intervention, and an additional course around hazing prevention and university expectations.
As the message indicates, these are first steps, but we believe they are important ones in communicating our obligations to our students and their responsibilities to each other and to our community.
We will continue to communicate about these important issues as our investigations of this tragedy progress and as we continue to evaluate how best we can protect our community and hold each other accountable in upholding that responsibility.
No word yet if UK death of Thomas Lofton Hazelwood is hazing-related. However, first reports are that Kentucky Farmhouse pledges were coerced into drinking prior to serenading sorority women. This may not qualify as criminal hazing but it certainly needs to be addressed as a possible hazing. Who furnished the alcohol? Were other pledges in similar state of inebriation? How long did it take before someone called 911? –HN
Moderator: I respectfully disagree with the jury’s verdict to acquit.
After about eight hours of deliberation Thursday, a jury acquitted a former University of Kentucky student of reckless homicide in the 2018 death of 4-year-old Marco Shemwell, who was hit by a car outside Kroger Field. Jacob Heil, 21, could’ve faced one to five years in prison if he was found guilty of reckless homicide. The jury convicted Heil on a DUI charge and Fayette Circuit Judge Lucy VanMeter subsequently imposed a $500 fine. “Jacob Heil today got a tremendous gift from this jury, and I pray that he uses it wisely,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn said. Red Corn said prosecutors respected the jury’s verdict after the four-day trial but they also respectfully disagreed.
Read more at: https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article254982772.html#storylink=cpy