Another South Carolina Fraternity Death

|| By FITSNEWS || It’s been a tragic academic year for fraternities in the Palmetto State … and it’s not even spring yet. The latest bad news?  According to multiple Columbia, S.C. media reports, an 18-year-old member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of South Carolina was found dead at…

|| By FITSNEWS || It’s been a tragic academic year for fraternities in the Palmetto State … and it’s not even spring yet.

The latest bad news?  According to multiple Columbia, S.C. media reports, an 18-year-old member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of South Carolina was found dead at a home a few blocks off campus.

FITS has received conflicting reports regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of the young man – said to be a Columbia, S.C. native.  Obviously it’s not hazing season at the school, but several sources have told us alcohol was involved – and that the fraternity was celebrating a “Big Brother” night the previous evening.  The residence where the student’s body was found on Wednesday morning was littered with beer cans – with a beer keg was visible on the front porch.

Richland County officials termed the death “suspicious” – even though there were no signs of foul play – while the University has launched its own probe.  The fraternity’s national organization has also temporarily suspended the charter pending the outcome of its inquiry.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased,” a school spokesman said in a statement.

Last month at Clemson University, Sigma Phi Epsilon was slapped with a five-year suspension following the mysterious September 2014 death of 19-year-old member Tucker Hipps.

Clemson University students told FITS in the immediate aftermath of Hipps’ death that fraternity hazing was involved.   Those reports sparked a firestorm of controversy at the school – and a rebuke from local law enforcement.  Police have yet to conclude their investigation into Hipps’ death – although they have since backed off their statements ruling out hazing.

In addition to its fraternity troubles, Clemson is currently being sued over 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.

Meanwhile back at USC, the Kappa Sigma fraternity saw its charter at the school revoked due to “hazing and significant drug problems” – news of which also broke exclusively on FITS.

UPDATE: Student identified.

UPDATE II: Cause of death.


Related posts


S.C. Beach Patrol Tragedy: Police Truck Kills Woman

Will Folks

Lowcountry Ferry Owner’s Court Appearance Scheduled

Callie Lyons

South Carolina’s Infant Mortality Rate Remains High

Erin Parrott


Party till you drop March 18, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Darwin award winner.

Tunes'n'News March 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm

That’s pretty cold.

The Colonel March 18, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Yeah, but sadly, I’m almost to the point where I think it’s true. It should come as no surprise to anyone in this day and age that bad things happen when you drink too much.

Carolina March 19, 2015 at 12:09 am

you are a fucking waste.

Party till you drop March 19, 2015 at 6:29 am

Next time try KY and you won’t be so butthurt.

pot, kettle March 19, 2015 at 9:27 am

I guess you would know, wouldn’t you? Did the gerbil survive by the way?

Party till you drop March 19, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Hahaha! That’s super funny! You should do stand up, seriously-you’re good!

Mark M. March 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Time to dump the entire antiquated, and borderline racist, Greek system?

Rocky March 18, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Bonn Scott didn’t belong to a fraternity. Same thing happened to him, and countless others. Stupid knows no bounds, but infects us all mostly in our youth.

Tangerine March 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm

I was getting ready to say the same thing.

Squishy123 March 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm

If they do that then who is going to buy all the pink pants and bowties?

Victorious Secret March 19, 2015 at 8:32 am

Not to mention T-shirts for every single event, ever

Classless Attire March 19, 2015 at 8:55 am

Or boat shoes.

west_rhino March 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm

don’ ask, don’ tell…

Comrade1917 March 18, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Are you just a garden variety National Socialist?

Taos March 19, 2015 at 7:19 am

Seriously, just shut up… spouting ‘racism” every five minutes neither makes you cool, nor, guarantees you any action tonight. What it does prove is that you’re a moronic sheep who paradoxically enjoys hating the hater.

Mark M. March 19, 2015 at 7:45 am

You mean the organizations that purposely exclude people who aren’t like them, so they can be around people ONLY like them?
Maybe you should A) look up the word racism, and B) look up the history of fraternities.
We’ll wait…

Not Racist March 19, 2015 at 8:56 am

There’ll never be a ****** at SAE…

******* waiting outside SAE March 19, 2015 at 10:25 am

Maybe not, but them ******* were waiting outside during moving day. Of course, the frat boys got pplice protection.

Voice of Reason March 19, 2015 at 9:32 am

You mean like liberals do when someone disagrees with them? Liberals will vilify them, and then surround themselves with other close-minded liberals, with envy and hatred in their hearts and minds? Get over yourself, dude. Drop the self-anointed attitude.

Mark M. March 19, 2015 at 10:04 am

I truly enjoy when people who don’t know any better act like they’re being attacked, and then throw out the “L” word.

And envious? Yeah, I’ve always wanted to pay extra money for “friends”.
And when frat bros STOP being complete douchebags, forcing their “friends” to drink to the point of death, destroying property, and abusing women, then MAYBE all of the thinking people MIGHT have a little empathy.
For now, the vast majority of you are overly-entitled, over-grown children. Think about that as you skip back to the multi-million dollar frat house this afternoon.
Oh yeah, your in-house cooking staff will have dinner ready around 6.

Pledge Captain March 19, 2015 at 11:14 am

Oh, that’s one I haven’t heard in like five minutes, “buying your friends”. Give me a fucking break. Do you not seek like minded individuals when you go on your bike marathons? Do not you pay dues, or “entrance fees” for these events? You’re a hypocrite, plain and simple.

Mark M. March 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm

You really like to compare apples and ranges, don’t you?
And yes, you bought your friends in the frat. Simple truth. Sorry that you have trouble equating the dues you pay with being a part of a certain group.
And what is a “bike marathon”? I’ve ridden for 25 years…never on a “bike marathon”.
And no, dues aren’t required to go outside and enjoy the day.

Taos March 19, 2015 at 10:24 am

Uh, I could care less if someone in a private organization excludes me… that’s been a human reality for over 50 thousand years and is something that neither you nor I will change. And also, in not trying to skirt that Darwinist reality, I’ve gone on to embrace the thought that if someone discriminates against me privately, then of course I can also discriminate against them privately…. so to sum this up, go grab a beer, put a smile on your face, learn to love yourself, and mostly, just mind your own business.

Mark M. March 19, 2015 at 10:33 am

Uh, it’s NOT a private institution, as it’s part of a State supported school. See the issue?
Want it to be private? Leave the State school system….
And claiming Darwinism as basis for fraternities?
(insert facepalm)

My God March 19, 2015 at 11:06 am

He was referring to the actual Fraternity being a private institution, you self-absorbed fucktard. (Insert middle finger)

vicupstate March 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm

It is chartered through the university, it is not an organizational unit of the university. We still have freedom of association don’t we? Are public funds going to the fraternity? Are Greek organizations getting anything from the Universities that other private clubs and groups don’t get?

Pledge Captain March 19, 2015 at 9:25 am

You mad you didn’t get a bid?

Mark M. March 19, 2015 at 10:12 am

Nah…didn’t need to pay extra money, nor subscribe to group think in order to graduate from Carolina with multiple degrees.
Did you enjoy cleaning up the frat house after your “brothers” fucked it up?

Pledge Captain March 19, 2015 at 11:09 am

It would be nice if just for once people brought up something other than what they’ve seen Hollywood portray about Greek life. Do some research and look at the positive aspects of Fraternities, like raising millions for charity. Stop pontificating about shit you don’t understand, and never will.

NYF March 19, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Oh all the good deeds. Thats your run to cover reply? The good being done does not give you a pass for all the crap that is being uncovered. Pledge captain aka chief hazer. Get your jollies paddling freshman pledges?

Mark M. March 20, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Or, you know, every other news story that shows trashed houses, drunk assholes, dead “brothers” and assaulted women.
Did you read the article from “The Atlantic” that I posted…likely not…too many big words…

The Colonel March 18, 2015 at 9:37 pm

A local kid, Spring Valley High School graduate. The national chapter of Phi Kappa Alpha has”suspended” the USC chapter according to a statement they gave The State. Story is he choked to death in his own vomit after “drinking too much”.

Rocky March 18, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Was a complete waste – and I intend no pun. Simply stupid! Stupid!!! Some days, there’s just no good news to outweight this sort of crap.

shifty henry March 18, 2015 at 9:52 pm

I’ve got a kid in her freshman year in Charleston. Never been away from mom and pop — I pray she is using all of her good judgment she was taught, and so far-so good. But we’ll be there for her if she needs us.

The Colonel March 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Talk to her, don’t preach but talk. I’ve got one a in college whose fraternity just got kicked off campus. They won’t always listen but sometimes they do. His younger brother (my middle son) was friends with this young man.

Tangerine March 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm

I find my “talks” often turn to lectures, especially when they say things I am unprepared to hear, i.e. I got a speeding ticket. I am still working on patience, trying to listen and pay attention to my body language at the same time. A 6 year old is easy compared to college student, at least in my experience.

euwe max March 18, 2015 at 10:04 pm


does she know about reverse cowgirl next door?

Rocky March 19, 2015 at 6:45 am

Poor taste.

euwe max March 19, 2015 at 7:17 am

Do you know her too?

it was funny March 19, 2015 at 10:31 am

Why? People get on the blog and offend whomever they want from the comforts of their living rooms. Now, that this is personal, it’s supposed to be in “poor taste”.

Misstate March 19, 2015 at 9:44 am

Not true, but thanks for spreading completely false rumors….

The Colonel March 19, 2015 at 9:48 am

What did I get wrong?

The Colonel March 19, 2015 at 1:01 pm

And crickets. ..

Manray9 March 18, 2015 at 11:12 pm

I think the Warren Commission reported quicker than the Clemson police on Hipp’s death.

a face in the crowd March 18, 2015 at 11:40 pm

I believe it is the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office that is (allegedly) investigating.

nitrat March 19, 2015 at 8:25 am

I just went to Wikipedia and it says the city of Clemson in located in Pickens AND Anderson counties.
So, who is investigating Hipp’s death? City police?
Since it’s gone on this long and that is the hallmark of a SLED investigation, is it involved?

CNSYD March 19, 2015 at 9:30 am

The scene was in Oconee County. Therefore it is the jurisdiction of the Oconee County Sheriff’s office.

soybean wind March 19, 2015 at 9:18 am

and the report will be just as reliable

Sumpter March 19, 2015 at 12:07 am

This young man’s death is a tragedy that should not be a source of speculation out of respect for him and his grieving family.

However, having said that, the current anti-Greek sentiment is tiresome.
There are GDIs who are poster boys for bad behavior. The guys living across the street from me (who appeared to be normal college students) were operating a major drug operation out of their downtown Cola home, which was busted by the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. There was a prominent USC football player who got his neck sliced open during an early morning Five Points fight and damn near bled out. There was a lovely young lady from a very prominent SC family who was a USC law student who died drinking at a secret law society event near campus. Because of the prominent lawyers associated with the group, that tragic death was swept under the carpet.
So, if you are going to beat up the Greek organizations for bad behavior then it is only fair that non-Greeks receive the same scrutiny from that microscope.

USC Alumni March 19, 2015 at 8:24 am

Really? Get your head out of your ass. Greek organized and sanctioned hazing and underage partying gets a pass because society has problems? If you don’t see an alarming trend then you are certainly part of the problem.

are you saying you didnt drink March 19, 2015 at 9:36 am

If you don’t think underage drinking happens outside of the Greek system you are a moron. Hell it happens in high school and they aren’t even in college yet to be in a frat. I would bet dollars to pesos you did it in high school, and/or before you were 21 in college too whether you were Greek or not. Im not defending the Greek hazing practices, and I feel for this kid and his friends and family, it is a very sad situation and one that should not have happened. But at the same time I am not going to go blame them either just because someone was too nervous to just say no, or felt peer pressure, because that happens everywhere. Think of the family and pray for them before you start pointing fingers.

USC Alumni March 19, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Organized, sanctioned, paying dues. What part of that don’t you understand? Comparing that to “other kids drink” is ludicrous.

Greek life is about to go through a dramatic change whether you like it or not..

Victorious Secret March 19, 2015 at 8:29 am

That’s a lot of information.

Citation? Source?

Which prominent football player? When? Where in 5 Points?
Which USC law student? When? Where “near campus?”

sclaw11 March 19, 2015 at 9:54 am

USC law student: Jeanne deSaussure Smith. November 14, 2008. Almost impossible to find anything about it. The drinking society is basically the sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters of prominent South Carolina families- “Beaux Arts.” The PR job was amazing. The story just disappeared.

Victorious Secret March 19, 2015 at 10:50 am

Good to know. Thanks for providing more detail.

That said, I think it’s fairly easy to distinguish a single event in 2008–6 1/2 years ago–from the numerous “Greek” tragedies (pun intended) occurring across multiple campuses and in a much higher frequency.

Additionally, I still would like to know which “prominent” football player had his “neck slashed open.” I would think that might be hard to cover up.

Besides, I might own some property in the 5 points area…this could be relevant to me.

Jimbo March 19, 2015 at 11:21 am

One of the Lindsey twins in a well publicized and high-profile event/incident. Google

Victorious Secret March 19, 2015 at 11:30 am

Thanks Jimbo. I just looked that up…didn’t know about that.

Again…similar to above response…Jordin Lindsey was stabbed with a broken bottle in 2007–7 1/2 years ago. Not a very fair comparison.

sclaw11 March 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Oh, I totally agree. I wasn’t providing the additional information to back up the “the Greek system is unfairly disparaged” position. I was just a law student at the time of Jeanne’s death and have always been totally baffled by the way the story quickly and quietly disappeared, so I was surprised to see it referenced in a comment here and wanted to share what I knew. With that said, I think it illustrates an important point–any time you take a young person and put them in a new social setting with minimal real-world responsibilities, maximum freedom, and a bunch of other young people, they’re going to make mistakes and do dumb things. Fraternities and sororities definitely provide social avenues that facilitate the making of those dumb mistakes, but they aren’t the cause. And the dumb mistakes would still happen if fraternities and sororities did not exist. Anyone who thinks the lack of a frat house would keep college boys and girls from binge drinking has never met a college boy or girl. That problem isn’t going to go away until they figure out a way to do away with the recklessness of youth.

Victorious Secret March 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Agreed. Correlation and causation are not the same. Did this accident happen her 1L year? Simply put, is there some belief Ms. Smith succumbed to some type of peer pressure or new environment?

I’m sure there are a few “secret societies,” but do they really have that much power? I never saw anything like that when I went through law school.

sclaw11 March 19, 2015 at 5:07 pm

She was a 1L. Based on the limited information that any of us ever heard about it, she died following an “initiation night” for the new members of the Beaux Arts society. I hesitate to use the word “initiation” because it implies some sort of hazing or ritual, and I don’t know enough about it to know whether the events of the night actually rose to that level (although the rumor was that there was some element of that involved). But it was definitely described as sort of a “take the new members out and get them hammered” type deal–for instance, I remember hearing that there were one or two older members specifically tasked with getting all the new members home at the end of the night. So there was definitely at least the expectation that the new members would do some heavy drinking. And I’m definitely not trying to imply that she was forced to drink too much or that anyone in that group should be blamed for it. Just making the point that the propensity to get carried away and make questionable decisions in a social group atmosphere is going to exist whether or not the social group atmosphere is affiliated with a Greek organization.

The Great Googily Moogily March 19, 2015 at 8:40 am

This is the second death of a PKA member in SC in the past couple of years. Another PKA died at Presbyterian College a year or 2 ago. Nothing was done, PKA alumni are some of the biggest athletic boosters in the country and hold many small schools athletic budgets in their back pocket. Some powerful politicians and trial lawyers in columbia are alumni who protect PKA from scandals such as hidden cameras in their bathrooms, date rape, hazing, vandalism, and rampant drug use.

idcydm March 19, 2015 at 9:40 am

If you have to blame it on something a fraternity is just a good as anything else.

Timmy Tebow March 19, 2015 at 10:50 am

Blame it on the Rain.

Mark M. March 19, 2015 at 10:10 am Reply
The Anti-Frat March 19, 2015 at 12:50 pm

I pledged a frat back in the day (Kappa Sigma). After going through all that I came to my senses and went inactive. I only pledged because some of my friends talked me into it. I can say, from my experience, (most) frats are about the dumbest thing in college life. I didn’t know a single frat-boy that joined for the charity work or “brotherhood” always touted by current members…they ALL joined for the status, test banks, alcohol/drugs, parties and pussy. They use charity work to stay in the good graces of the administration, nothing more.
Now, with this said, there were a couple frats on campus that were nothing like the others, but they were the minority. They were also the butt of jokes by the others.


Leave a Comment