VCU reaches settlement with family of hazing victim

Sep 18, 2022, 12:19 PM | Updated: 12:38 pm

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Commonwealth University will pay nearly $1 million to the family of a young man who died after a 2021 fraternity hazing incident as part of a recent settlement agreement.

The agreement with the family of Adam Oakes also requires the Richmond university to make additional changes to its fraternity and sorority life. The deal was approved Friday by the Fairfax County Circuit Court, VCU announced in a news release.

“This is a blueprint to foster a safer and healthier community for students who are part of fraternities and sororities and to create a climate of respect and inclusion that is needed for academic success,” a joint statement from the family and university said.

A police investigation found that Oakes, a 19-year-old who had received a bid to the Delta Chi fraternity, was told to drink a large bottle of whiskey in February 2021. The freshman from Loudoun County was found dead the next morning. The office of the chief medical examiner ruled Oakes’ death was caused by alcohol poisoning. VCU expelled Delta Chi in June 2021.

“Adam was a beloved son, grandson, nephew, cousin, student and friend. He had a tremendous future ahead of him and his senseless death brought unspeakable pain and tragedy to all who knew him,” Friday’s statement said.

In addition to the $995,000 monetary settlement, the agreement will require that VCU students complete 12 credit hours and other eligibility requirements before joining a fraternity or sorority. It will also prohibit alcohol at any activity of any fraternity or sorority attended by new members, and tighten the rules for alcohol served or consumed at student organization functions.

VCU will begin the process of creating a physical memorial to Oakes on campus, and will designate Feb. 27 as an annual hazing prevention day and day of remembrance for Oakes. The settlement also contains a reporting requirement for information about student organizations found to be in violation of the code of conduct.

Delta Chi faced discipline each of its last seven years on campus, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Several former members of the fraternity have pleaded guilty or were found guilty of misdemeanor hazing or misdemeanor serving alcohol to a minor in connection with the case, the newspaper has reported. None has received jail time.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka toast each other...
Associated Press

Japanese leader’s trip to China in ’72 was diplomatic gamble

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese leader who normalized relations with China 50 years ago feared for his life when he flew to Beijing for the high-stakes negotiations at the height of the Cold War, according to his daughter, a former Japanese foreign minister. Kakuei Tanaka’s mission to normalize relations with China just two months after […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Musk faces deposition with Twitter ahead of October trial

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is scheduled to spend the next few days with lawyers for Twitter, answering questions ahead of an October trial that will determine whether he must carry through with his $44 billion agreement to acquire the social platform after attempting to back out of the deal. The deposition, […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. The...
Associated Press

Texts: Favre also sought welfare money for football facility

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — After Mississippi spent millions of dollars in welfare money on Brett Favre’s pet project, a university volleyball arena, the retired NFL quarterback tried two years later to get additional cash from the state’s welfare agency for another sports facility, new court documents show. The governor at the time, Republican Phil Bryant, […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Man arrested in California plotted mass shooting

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — A 37-year-old man was arrested Sunday in Northern California on suspicion of threatening to kill police officers and planning a “Las Vegas-style” mass shooting, authorities said. The suspect was taken into custody by SWAT officers at a Super 8 motel in Chico after detectives obtained evidence of his plot, according to […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Rihanna attends an event for her lingerie line Savage X Fenty at the Westin Bonaventure Hote...
Associated Press

Rihanna to headline the next Super Bowl halftime show

NEW YORK (AP) — Rihanna will take center stage at February’s Super Bowl halftime show. The singer, who declined to perform in the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show out of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, will headline the 2023 Super Bowl, the NFL announced Sunday along with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Apple Music. Rihanna posted an […]
20 hours ago
A sedan is wedged between a small, black pickup truck and the Bagel Time Cafe in Wildwood, N.J., ea...
Associated Press

Official: 2 killed amid crashes during pop-up NJ car rally

WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A pop-up car rally over the weekend in southern New Jersey led to multiple crashes and the deaths of at least two people riding in a golf cart, officials say. Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron told NJ Advance Media on Sunday that there were a series of car crashes related to the […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
VCU reaches settlement with family of hazing victim