Rutgers Student Dies After Passing Out At A Frat House “In Distress”

Caitlyn Kovacs, a 19-year-old sophomore at Rutgers University, died early Sunday after passing out at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house. According to the New York Daily News, Kovacs’ friends noticed she “appeared to be in distress” early that morning. She died at a nearby hospital less than half an hour later. Kovacs was majoring in animal sciences and was described by her friends as upbeat and involved, with a good head on her shoulders. The story of her death remains pretty sketchy, and authorities are investigating but if any further details have been discovered, they haven’t been made public.

Frat brothers were interviewed yesterday by cops, and Doug Laphner, the frat’s International Executive Director released the following statement:

“On behalf of the International Fraternity of Delta Kappa Epsilon and the Brothers of our chapter at Rutgers University, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Caitlyn Kovacs. We also wish to extend our sympathies to the students of Rutgers University as they endure this time of grief and misfortune…As the investigation of the incident is ongoing, Delta Kappa Epsilon is fully cooperating with local and county authorities.”

While there’s no proof of foul play at this point, Delta Kappa Epsilon doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to the treatment of women. The Yale chapter of the frat was banned from conducting on-campus activities in 2011, following a pledge event that involved shouting predatory, sexist chants like “No means yes, yes means anal!” Earlier this year, Amherst College students leaked a 13-page document revealing the frat’s misogynistic behaviors and rituals. The hospital found potential signs that Kovacs death could have been alcohol-related, and an autopsy will be performed to find out more about what was in Kovacs’ system when she passed away.

It’s worth noting that this time of year, the weeks between student orientation and Thanksgiving break, is considered the “red zone” for female college students. Young women are more likely than ever to be sexually assaulted on campus during this time. There are no concrete facts pointing to Kovacs having been assaulted, and we may never know for sure if she was. The details may never get any more clear, but the one thing we can know for sure right is that a young person lost their life for seemingly no reason, and it’s up to college administrators (and all the rest of us who give a damn) to stop things like this from continuing to happen.

[New York Daily News]
[Big Think]
[Refinery 29]

[Image via Facebook]