The most recent release of the findings in Dyad Strategies external review and the Virginia Commonwealth University's internal review confirms and solidifies what we know --Greek Life at VCU and its oversight are defective. There are organizational issues with the fraternity and sorority office, lack of disciplinary process in incidents of hazing, sexual assault, and other violations of school policies and codes, and an enormous gap in accountability.
Dyad Strategies states, “. . . the organization misconduct process is confusing, lacks clarity, has no clear home and no clear lines of authority, and is simultaneously “managed” by multiple offices.” (p. 3)
The failure to act made numerous students vulnerable to hazing and unfortunately for us, Adam was the student who lost his life. But there are many others the system failed to protect from hazing, and from sexual assaults committed at or by the Delta Chi fraternity brothers. We as a family have made it our mission to intervene, voice our values, and push for change in honor of Adam, other hazing victims and the students who were brave and came forward to report sexual assaults, and in the end we are doing this to protect students from hazing at VCU and across the country.
Our hope is that VCU follows through on the recommendations of Dyad Strategies sooner rather than later due to the new school year beginning in just a week. Students are already back on campus and having the right plan, implementation, and follow through is key to making these changes in the Greek life system a success. If you would like to read more about their report, the links below take you to the information released.
The most recent article on Delta Chi from the Richmond Times Dispatch is heartbreaking. The article is featured in this Sunday's paper as well as linked here for you to read.
It solidifies and highlights the imminent need for change in Greek Culture. Our hope is not to eliminate Greek Life, our hope is to enhance it and eliminate hazing, sexual assaults, abuse, and other destructive behaviors within some of the organizations. This is not a local issue, it's a global issue and we need everyone's support in the movement to create permanent change. We couldn't save Adam and we can't bring him back, but we can help make changes for future generations of students in an attempt to keep this from happening to any other kids and their families. And that's what we are setting out to do... Stay tuned for more actions being taken against hazing.
On behalf of our family, we are grateful for the thorough work completed on the part of the medical examiner's office in identifying ethanol toxicity, or alcohol poisoning, as Adam's cause of death. At this time, receiving the results feels similar to ripping a band aid off an open wound. We are all mourning his loss again as if it just happened yesterday. Even though the results are unsurprising, it does not make it any easier to hear. However, we now have the scientific evidence needed to confirm his death was caused by hazing, specifically the excessive amounts of alcohol the fraternity supplied and pressured him to drink that night at the Delta Chi Big/Little event. The investigation is ongoing and as to not intrude or disrupt the work, we will not be divulging any further details at this time. We ask that you not forget that Adam was a 19 year old kid looking for acceptance and friends. He had an amazing heart, a kind spirit, and the absolute best bear hug. He had a bright future ahead with dreams of his own. Those dreams will never be fulfilled because of one night, one group of boys, and one fraternity tradition—but also because of a Greek system that regularly used hazing to control and coerce teenagers, endangering them, and in too many cases, ending in their death. Please educate, hug, and love your children. #seekthetruth #justiceforadamo