A police investigation is underway after a fraternity pledge at Fresno State dies following a weekend party.
The Theta Chi national organization has suspended its Fresno chapter.
The atmosphere in and around the Theta Chi frat house appeared to be calm Sunday evening. Then just after , the doors kicked open and members filed out. They hopped into their cars and drove out the iron gates one by one. All of them followed a mandate from their national organization to not speak a word about the death of a freshman pledge.
“It’s appalling to think someone died from trying to be part of an organization,” said Charles Jones, a Fresno State Senior.
Charles Jones is a Fresno state senior who was saddened to hear of the death of 18-year old Philip Dhanens.
“This is his first semester so this is like wow he didn't even have a chance to get that full college experience. It just sucks you know,” said Jones.
According to police, Dhanens had been drinking a lot Friday night into Saturday morning. Someone in the fraternity put him in the so-called "Sober Up Room.” Later when a person checked on him he was unconscious so they called 911. Dhanens later died at the hospital.
A similar incident took place in 2006 involving the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. It was banned five years after 19-year old Danny Daniels died from alcohol poisoning inside the house.
Although fraternities are located off campus and the university does not run them, this tragedy will no doubt cast a dark shadow on the college.
“As far as Fresno State, it's just bad that they have to be associated with that you know,” said Jones.
All Fresno State fraternities must now suffer the consequences of Theta Chi's actions. As long as this investigation is open, none of the houses are allowed to have alcohol.