SCANDAL SURROUNDING STUDENT DEATH COSTS HIGHER EDUCRAT HER JOB …
Gail DiSabatino – who held the post for eight years – was unceremoniously dumped by the school this week and replaced by Almeda Jacks, who retired from the school in 2006 after serving as student affairs vice president for fourteen years.
Jacks will serve in an interim capacity until a full-time replacement for DiSabatino can be named – which is ironic considering she’s a consultant for a firm that’s paid by colleges and universities to, among other things, conduct “executive searches.”
“We know (Jacks) can count on the full support of the Student Affairs staff and student leaders during this period of transition,” Clemson president James Clements said in a statement. “We are all committed to ensuring that our students have the support and services they need to be successful.”
Successful … which last time we checked started with students staying alive (which has proven problematic in Tigertown).
DiSabatino’s demise can be traced directly to the fallout from Hipps’ September death – which sources tell FITS was linked to a fraternity ritual.
Hipps – a former high school football player – died as a result of head trauma sustained during an “unsupported fall” from a bridge near the Clemson campus. His fraternity brothers say he fell behind during an early morning fitness event, but multiple sources tell FITS the bridge Hipps fell from is linked to a “particular tradition” for Hipps’ fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.
“You jump in and have to swim to the other side,” one student explained to FITS.
DiSabatino suspended all fraternity-related “education” activities in the wake of Hipps’ death, but she was clearly unable to get a handle on the situation.
Local police are reportedly close to issuing their findings in the Hipps’ investigation.
Meanwhile Hipps’ parents – while not specifically alleging hazing – have said that the school’s fraternity pledging process was
“There is more to the story then what has been told,” Gary Hipps told WYFF last week. “We do believe there are things that need to be fixed that are broken with fraternity pledging processes. No parent should send their child off to college and have to fear for their life.”
“I think there are elements of the truth that are not yet known and those are answers we’re looking for,” Cindy Hipps added.
Hipps is the second Clemson fraternity member to die under questionable circumstances in as many years. Last October another 19-year-old fraternity member – Timothy Michael Reece, Jr. of Sullivans Island, S.C. – died at Clemson. Reece belonged to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and multiple sources tell FITS his death was related to his association with the organization.
In related news, Clemson is currently being sued related to an alleged hazing incident associated with its women’s soccer program. In that suit – news of which broke exclusively on FITS – officials at the school are alleged to have covered up the particulars of the hazing.