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UCF update: school says death was not hazing-related; family wants answers to cause of death

Family Wants Answers After UCF Fraternity Pledge Dies
Family, Attorney Say Student Was Pledge Who Died From Hazing

UPDATED: 11:50 pm EDT October 3, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. — Stinging new hazing allegations arose on Friday against a University of Central Florida fraternity.In the most recent case of possible hazing, a pledge died and family members said they’re not getting any answers as to what exactly happened.Family members said they want to know how a healthy 26-year-old UCF student could die so abruptly.
Their attorney said McAndy Douarin died at the hands of fraternity hazing without a full university investigation.Family and friends of the victim said they were shocked by the student’s death on Aug. 31.

Doctors said Douarin died of heart-related failure less than 12 hours after a punch to his chest.His family’s attorney said Douarin was a pledge of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity injured by fraternity hazing, but there was never an investigation.

A university representative said UCF has looked into his death, but there isn’t evidence of wrongdoing and the case has been closed.The family said it’s frustrated that there won’t be discipline for Douarin’s death.Also on the UCF campus, the Kappa Sigma fraternity has been suspended for hazing at a fraternity party pillow fight and for writing on a member with markers while he slept.Students having fun on campus Friday night said they’re fed up by what appears to be UCF’s double-discipline standard.

UCF representatives said they had video proof of the hazing at Kappa Sigma, but not in Douarin’s death.In a statement from Alpha Phi Alpha, the fraternity said it does not condone hazing and disputes that Douarin was a pledge, saying he hadn’t applied for membership.The family’s attorney said it’s not looking for a settlement, just answers from the Alpha brothers about what happened the night before Douarin died.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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