Freshman Dies in Fraternity Pledge at NYC College

A NYC college fraternity ritual has taken the life of a freshman. The District Attorney released a statement on Wednesday that said that Chen Michael Deng, 19, was taken to Wilkes-Barre hospital on Sunday morning. He was in critical condition when he was brought in. The 19 year old had been at a house in Tunkhannock Township, and had been with about 30 other members of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity. Deng died sometime on Monday and was a freshman at Baruch College. The home that the fraternity had been performing pledge rituals at is in north east Pennsylvania, and about thirty miles north of Allentown.

dengSometime early Sunday morning, Deng was injured out in the yard. The details of his injury aren’t clear right now, and exactly what kind of ritual was being performed is still a mystery. However, he was just one of four pledges that were part of the initiation. The fraternity that they were pledging to is apparently an Asian American cultural fraternity. It begin in 1994 and was started to spread “Asian American Cultural Awareness.” A statement by Baruch College identified Deng’s full name as Cun Hsien Michael Deng. “The preliminary reports indicate that Michael died over the weekend while participating in an unsanctioned fraternity pledging event,” said the college spokesperson. “Baruch College had no knowledge of this event or that the fraternity was rushing a pledge class. Pi Delta Psi did not request permission nor were they approved by Baruch on this matter.”

The statement also mentioned that “hazing” which is what the pledges of a fraternity traditionally undergo to become part of the fraternity, is now allowed at Baruch and that every fraternity and sorority is required to go through an orientation that tells them that and they even have to sign a statement saying that they understand it.