A College Freshman Died This Weekend In An Awful Hazing Ritual And It’s Not Okay

Even among the awful hazing stories that seem to make headlines way too often, this one sticks out as particularly atrocious.

Chun Hsien Deng, a 19-year-old Baruch College freshman, died of “major brain trauma” on Monday after partaking in a fraternity hazing ritual on a retreat in the Poconos. Deng was there with around 30 members of the fraternity Pi Delta Psi. Apparently, they played a game called the Glass Ceiling, which consists of blindfolding someone and placing a heavy object on their back. Then, someone calls for the person and he tries to make his way toward them, still blindfolded, while other members of the frat try to tackle him.

Deng was hurt while playing the Glass Ceiling early on Sunday, and “after some time” (ugh) the fraternity members drove him to a hospital emergency room. He was placed on life support there, and died on Monday. Authorities are still investigating the details of the time span between his injury and the frat brothers finally deciding to take him to the hospital, but what is clear is that no ambulance was called and no medical services was provided to Deng up until the time that he was finally driven to the E.R. Did the frat members who drove him to the hospital stay with him there, or did they just drop him off and bolt?

Deng lived in the Baruch dorms in Manhattan and was studying finance. He was from Oakland Gardens in Queens. The college’s president, Mitchel B. Wallerstein, expressed his sadness over Deng’s death and said that the college “had no knowledge of this event or that the fraternity was rushing a pledge class” and that “Pi Delta Psi did not request permission nor were they approved by Baruch on this matter.”

Baruch is part of the City University of New York, and students there who go Greek are required to attend annual training about how harmful hazing can be, and “to sign statements that they understand and will abide by the college’s policies regarding organizing a pledge class and antihazing protocols,” said a Baruch spokeswoman.

[New York Times]