The University at Buffalo announced that Sebastian Serafin-Bazan, who was hospitalized after a suspected incident of hazing, died on April 10, 2019. The university’s president, Satish Tripathi, has suspended all official activities of its more than 35 social fraternities and sororities after Mr. Serafin-Bazan was taken to the hospital because he went into cardiac arrest at the Sigma Pi fraternity house near the university. After the police opened an investigation, Mr. Tripathi announced a full review of the school’s Greek system.
The unfortunate and tragic episode comes amid continuing criticism of fraternities. Some recent criticism and accusations around the country include:
- In February 2019, three female students at Yale University, who were groped at fraternity parties, filed a class-action lawsuit against the school, claiming Yale fostered a culture that enabled harassment.
- In 2017, a freshman at Penn State University died during a hazing pledge at Beta Theta Pi, when ordered to drink large amounts of alcohol and falling multiple times, injuring his brain and rupturing his spleen.
- In 2016, police investigated whether hazing played a role in the death of a Buffalo State College student.
- In 2013, multiple students plead guilty in connection with a Baruch College student who died during a fraternity initiation event.
These are only a few of the tragic incidents related to social fraternity and sorority events.
The Dangers of Hazing
Hazing is not merely harmless harassment of fraternity and sorority pledges. It has devastating physical and psychological consequences. Unfortunately, pledges who complain or who cannot endure what many sadly consider routine practices for formation of group cohesiveness are portrayed as wimps.
Although some people blame the victims for participating in hazing, the intense peer pressure to conform prevents victims from refusing to consent. Moreover, many hazing participants are unaware of what the pledging and/or hazing process demands – making it difficult to know what they are getting themselves into.
We Can Help You If Your Are Injured
If you or a loved one has injured or died in a suspected hazing incident, you should hire an experienced New York injury attorney to protect your legal rights. The attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek P.C. have more than 30 years of experience and knowledge to aggressively fight for your rights and get you the full extent of the monetary compensation that you deserve.