Alcohol use sends freshman to hospital

A freshman Kappa Sigma rushee was taken to Georgetown Hospital Sept. 13 to be treated for excessive alcohol consumption.

Jason Delp, Kappa Sigma president, said the freshman did not drink at a Kappa Sigma event that evening, where he said no alcohol was served. But Delp said the rushee arrived at the event intoxicated and was asked by Kappa Sigma members to leave.

The freshman, who asked not to be identified, said he had been drinking in a Thurston Hall room.

“This was not in any way related to Kappa Sigma,” the freshman said. “I had been drinking with friends. I drank way too much.”

The freshman said he became disoriented when he went to the Kappa Sigma event and collapsed outside the house.

A Kappa Sigma brother called University Police who called the Emergency Medical Response Group to respond to the situation, said Dan Kaniewski, EMeRG supervisor for University and public relations.

“Their friend relayed that (the freshman) took 15-20 shots,” Kaniewski said.

Kaniewski said the patient drifted in and out of consciousness.

“We were on the scene for 45 minutes with no notable improvement,” Kaniewski said.

Delp said a D.C. fire engine and numerous UPD officers reported to the scene.

Dolores Stafford, director of UPD, said she could not say whether UPD had been contacted about the incident.

Neil Smith, president of the Interfraternity Council, said “absolutely no alcohol” was served at the Kappa Sigma event and said the event did not violate IFC rush rules.

“When I went by, it was very obvious it wasn’t a drinking party,” said Ben Kirshner, IFC executive vice president, who was on patrol that night. “They were holding soda cans.”

“Kappa Sigma did the right thing in calling UPD,” Smith said.

The freshman was accepted as a pledge of the fraternity. Delp said he looks down upon the freshman’s behavior, but said people should not judge others as a result of a single event.

Delp said the freshman apologized for his actions.

“I feel I can bring something (to the fraternity) and it will be a great part of my college experience,” the freshman said.

The freshman said he was impressed with the actions taken by Kappa Sigma brothers.

“(Kappa Sigma) tried to help me out,” he said. “I thanked them and apologized for causing a scene. They handled it really well.”

The freshman said he had no injuries and hospital personnel let him sleep and drink water before they released him. He was taken to Georgetown Hospital because the GW Hospital was full, Kaniewski said.

The freshman said he was concerned rumors that have circulated on campus since the incident.

“People thought I had fallen, but none of it was true,” he said.

He said the hospital released him and he took a cab back to his room. He said the hospital planned to release him around 7:30 a.m., but instead released him between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

The freshman said his friends were going to pick him up but came after he already had been released.

The freshman said he faces disciplinary action from GW’s Student Judicial Services. He said he felt the University had been fair so far and he said he is awaiting disciplinary measures.

“I feel it’s a fair situation,” the freshman said. “I deserve this. My actions are a violation of (GW) rules. The punishment fits the crime.”

Karen Warren, manager of Student Judicial Services, said she could not comment on the specific case but could discuss the xstudent code of conduct.

“An individual or student group can be charged under the student code of conduct,” she said. “The University upholds the alcohol policy.”

Kappa Sigma is not facing charges from the University, Warren said.

She said she heard rumors by “word of mouth” about possible violations by Kappa Sigma, but she said no formal violation has been reported.

Kaniewski said he noticed a trend among freshmen.

“We’ve had an increase in the number of calls to seriously intoxicated freshmen,” he said.

For his part, the freshman involved in the incident said he has “simply learned a lesson.”

“For me to do something like this is totally irresponsible,” he said. “People are talking about me like I’m some sort of buffoon and I’m not.”

The freshman said a similar incident would not happen again.

“It’s a pretty embarrassing situation and totally irresponsible,” he said. “I don’t like attention being brought upon me.”

-Francesca Di Meglio contributed to this report.

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