Forwarding an email below fyi from Debbie Smith (mother of deceased Chico hazing victim Matt Carrington) of interest possibly to you.Â This is unverified, but if true is no doubt distressing news for Chico State Greek Affairs and administration that have worked hard for reforms and to end hazing on campus. Chico State recently (2007) suffered the alcohol-related death of a senior (presumably not linked to hazing) named Steve Davis
and the suicide of Joseph Dickerson (2007), and 2006 drug-related death of Kyle BartleyÂ
Debbie Smith’s message follows.
As the first court hearing that we are to attend in our civil case approaches we find there has been another hazing at Chico State. At this time I am not at liberty to go into detail but suffice to say we are hoping the offenders are prosecuted under Mattâ€™s Law. What I am at liberty to say is thank God no one was killed, â€œthis timeâ€. If they are allowed to continue without accountability the next victims may not be so fortunate. Do we really want to wait for that to happen? I can also say that this was NOT a rogue fraternity it was in fact, I am told, a University-recognized and fully-chartered local chapter of one of the largest and more prestigious fraternities in the nation.
I will keep you apprised of the situation as it unfolds. I may even need your help down the road if indeed charges are filed. As you all know Mattâ€™s Law was created to save lives so it is important that it is enforced when a hazing occurs. I am sure you will all agree we do not want to wait for another young person to die for Mattâ€™s Law to go into effect.
As for the civil case, we go to court in Chico on Thursday, June 21st for a settlement hearing. What happens before, or on that date will determine whether we go back for trial in August.
Some of the young men involved in Mattâ€™s death have settled but whatâ€™s really sad is the National Fraternity will not admit their guilt and until they do, either on their own, or when they are forced to by the courts these horrible attacks on our young people will continue – as we can ascertain by these current events.
In Mattâ€™s case, they can say they revoked their charter until they are blue in the face but the fact is they had revoked their charter and reinstated it several times over the last 5 decades and it was only a matter of time before they would do it again. The fact remains that had they closed down that house back in the 60â€™s when they revoked their charter or the 80â€™s or the 90â€™s or in 2002, at any point in time had they actually meant it and closed that house down our precious Matt would be alive today. But they did NOTHING.
The fact is that these boys in the 60â€™s, 70â€™s, 80â€™s and so on did not learn hazing at home, they learned it by joining this fraternity and having these acts executed against them by those that had learned it the same way. Through the FRATERNITY. And until the fraternity can take responsibility for their part in teaching our children these hideous and extremely harmful acts nothing will change.
We have been desperately working towards some kind of healing but have found that some wounds never really heal. So as we prepare to relive, yet again, the horrific accounts of Mattâ€™s death I ask that you please pray for us to have the strength to endure the horrible pain and that justice be served so that others will be spared.
Thank you for your continued support.
â€œHug your children and tell them you love them everyday.â€
Debbie [Smith], MM