Updates

Latest update: December 3, 2019, 9:02 a.m.

The proposed timeline for the Presidential Task Force Groups and other campus activities is now live. Visit the timeline page for more information.

 


SDSU University Police Department Statement

November 8, 2019

On the morning of Thursday, November 7, the San Diego State University Police Department (UPD) received a 911 phone call to respond to a student in need of medical attention at a residence hall located in the 6100 block of Montezuma Road. University Police officers quickly arrived to the location of the incident and provided appropriate aid. The student was then transported to a San Diego area hospital.

UPD is investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. Although the investigation is preliminary, UPD is taking this matter very seriously.

NOTE: As this is an ongoing investigation, UPD cannot provide additional details at this time. As more informaiton becomes available, you will find it on the UPD webpage.

 

 

SDSU Statements

November 12, 2019 (from President Adela de la Torre)

San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre issued a statement about the creation of two groups tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations regarding issues related to student organization activities and also alcohol and other drug use. Read the full statement, Announcement of Two Presidential Task Force Groups, online.

November 11, 2019 (from President Adela de la Torre)

San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre issued a statement regarding SDSU student Dylan Hernandez. Read the full statement, Tragic News to Share Regarding SDSU Student, online.

November 9, 2019 (from President Adela de la Torre)

San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre issued a statement regarding the incident and the active investigation. Read the full statement, IFC-Affiliated Chapters Suspended, Investigation Underway, online.

November 9, 2019 (from San Diego State University)

A San Diego State University fraternity is alleged to have been involved in possible misconduct on Wednesday, November 6. The incident, involving a university student, was reported to law enforcement on Thursday, November 7. 

We expect all of our students to uphold our institutional values and the student code of conduct. For those involved in fraternity and sorority programs, we expect our students to also honor the policies of their local and national chapters, and the distinct values of their organizations. 

Prior to this decision, six Interfraternity Council (IFC)-affiliated organizations were under suspension prior to SDSU President Adela de la Torre’s November 8 decision to suspend all IFC-affiliated chapters. However, four additional IFC organizations were already under investigation. This means that a total of 10 of the 14 IFC-affiliated organizations were under some level of elevated judicial status prior to this incident. The week’s incident would mark the 11th organization to be on interim suspension or under investigation. This factored into President de la Torre’s decision. 

For further clarity, for a recognized student organization to be assigned “interim suspension or sanction” status, as outlined in the Student Organization Handbook, the Vice President for Student Affairs, or a designee, has determined that there is a perceived concern for the health and safety of a member or members of the campus community. When a student organization is under investigation, it means that the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee is currently reviewing a reported incident. Should the university find that there is a perceived concern for the health and safety of a member or members of the campus community, then the student organization would be moved from “under investigation” to “interim suspension or sanction” status.

Again, this decision only impacts the IFC and its affiliated members; the decision does not impact the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the College Panhellenic Association or the United Sorority and Fraternity Council, or the chapters affiliated with those organizations.

To learn more about the student code of conduct and how SDSU manages suspensions and investigations of student organizations, review the Student Organization Handbook online: http://go.sdsu.edu/student_affairs/sll/handbook.aspx

In addition to code regulations, orientation education and other activities are required for all social fraternity and sorority students to help them understand the serious risks to their safety. Additional programming is also required for Greek students and chapters.

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NOTE: Read the FAQs below to learn more about suspensions, student conduct codes and what SDSU does to ensure students participating in registered student organizations, including Greek organizations, are well informed of campus policies and laws. Evidence of discrimination, disorderly behavior, alcohol being served at sponsored events, drug use, the lack of insurance at a major event, and other violations of the student code or law can lead to a suspension. 

November 8, 2019 (from San Diego State University)

The San Diego State University Police Department is conducting an investigation into reports that a student required medical attention after allegedly attending a fraternity event that occurred the night of Wednesday, November 6. Out of respect for the family and due to privacy regulations, the university will not be commenting further about the student, and asks that all respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.

Given the severity of this incident, and as the safety and wellbeing of students is a primary concern of the university, SDSU President Adela de la Torre has suspended the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and all chapter organizations under the council. This decision is effective today, Friday, November 8. The decision does not impact the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the College Panhellenic Association or the United Sorority and Fraternity Council, or the chapters affiliated with those organizations.

While under suspension, the IFC and its organizations will not be recognized and all activities will be suspended. The university will keep the organizations under suspension while it considers next steps.

The university is offering support to all of those involved and impacted. We also urge all members of our community to seek university resources as they need support. Counseling and Psychological team members are prepared to assist students on any emotional or psychological matters.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

About the incident and investigation

A: The San Diego State University Police Department (UPD) is conducting an investigation into reports that a student required medical attention after allegedly attending a fraternity event that occurred the night of Wednesday, November 6.

On the morning of Thursday, November 7, UPD received a 911 phone call to respond to a student in need of medical attention at a residence hall located in the 6100 block of Montezuma Road. University Police officers quickly arrived to the location of the incident and provided appropriate aid. The student was then transported to a San Diego area hospital.

A: UPD is investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. Although the investigation is preliminary, UPD is taking this matter very seriously. As this is an ongoing investigation, UPD cannot provide additional details at this time.
 

A: Given the severity of this incident, and as the safety and well-being of students is a primary concern of the university, SDSU President Adela de la Torre has suspended the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and all chapter organizations under the council. The decision became effective Friday, November 8.

The decision does not impact the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the College Panhellenic Association or the United Sorority and Fraternity Council, or the chapters affiliated with those organizations.

The university is offering support to all of those involved and impacted. We also urge all members of our community to seek university resources as they need support. Counseling and Psychological team members are prepared to assist students on any emotional or psychological matters.

 

About SDSU President Adela de la Torre's Decision

A: Six Interfraternity Council (IFC)-affiliated organizations were already under suspension prior to SDSU President Adela de la Torre’s November 8 decision to suspend all IFC-affiliated chapters. In addition, four other IFC-affiliated organizations were already under investigation. This means that a total of 10 of the 14 IFC-affiliated organizations were under some level of elevated judicial status prior to this incident. The recent investigation would mark the 11th organization to be on interim suspension or under investigation within the IFC.

Evidence of discrimination, disorderly behavior, alcohol being served at sponsored events, drug use, the lack of insurance at a major event, and other violations of the student code or law can lead to a suspension.

This information factored into President de la Torre’s decision. 

A: When the university receives reports of alleged misconduct, the reports are reviewed by university administrators to address the potential concern for the health and safety of members of the community. Reports are taken very seriously, and immediate action may be taken with the specific student organization. In cases where there is a concern for health and safety, Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs), including fraternities and sororities, may be assigned an interim sanction, such as an interim suspension. 

Interim Sanction or Interim Suspension Definitions

The interim sanction addresses the alleged policy violation(s). Interim sanctions may be applied to an organization if an incident is reportedly due to their activity; occurs near their activity or chapter facility; or if a community member believes it was a fraternity activity. Some examples include a medical transport due to alcohol, a hazing allegation, and/or a reported student injury.  The specific behaviors associated with the alleged violations are outlined by the interim sanction and may include restrictions on specific or all activities within the organization. The interim sanctions are imposed pending the outcome of a university investigation, which includes a review of the alleged policy violation(s) and the organization’s conduct history. Following the investigation, the organizations are adjudicated through the Student Organization Conduct Process, which determines the outcome of the investigation.

Suspension Definitions

The interim sanctions imposed on the Interfraternity Council (IFC) member organizations during the Fall 2019 term address a range of reported incidents and alleged policy violations. While the interim suspensions address concerns for health and safety, the reported incidents varied widely and did not establish a concern for the health and safety of all members of the Interfraternity Council or the SDSU broader community. Direct action was instead taken with each specific student organization. With the November 2019 incident, the university reassessed, and President de la Torre made the executive decision to take swift action to place the remaining IFC member organizations on interim suspension, pending an external review.

While interim sanctions outline specific restrictions for individual organizations, the suspension of the IFC and IFC member organizations ceases all organizational activities. A suspension is essentially a cease and desist. The university recognition of the Interfraternity Council and IFC member organizations has been suspended, along with all associated privileges including but not limited to; the ability to hold activities, continue with new members or recruitment efforts, to participate in intramural and other university activities and the ability to reserve campus facilities. The November 8, 2019 decision pertains only to the Interfraternity Council and IFC-affiliated organizations.

 A: The 14 fraternity chapters affiliated with the Interfraternity Council have been suspended at SDSU, effective November 8. No other Greek organization has been suspended under this decision.
 A: No. Only the IFC and its affiliated chapters have been suspended. The decision does not impact the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the College Panhellenic Association or the United Sorority and Fraternity Council, or the chapters affiliated with those organizations.

 

About Student Organization and Greek Life Education, Training

A: Extensive orientation education activities are required for all students to help them understand the serious risks to their safety. Additional programming is also required for Greek students and chapters.  

Formal training and education include the following:

Recognized Student Organization (RSO) Leadership Training: Student Life & Leadership provides a two-hour face-to-face training seminar addressing student organization recognition, hazing, bystander intervention, campus policies and leadership development. Fraternity and sorority leaders attended the student leader training.  

Also, all RSO presidents and treasurers complete four hours of conflict and inclusive diversity training.

Advisor Engagement: All fraternities and sororities are required to have a faculty/staff advisor and most have alumni/ae advisor(s). Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) staff engage with advisors through monthly face-to-face meetings where topics within the community are discussed. Additionally, trainings for faculty/staff advisors and alumni/ae advisors were implemented in Fall 2017.

Fall FSL Training: Each August, fraternity and sorority student leaders participate in a half-day on-campus FSL officer training with participation from each chapter and council. The curriculum is based on Chapter Management, Leadership Education & Development, and Community Wellness. 

TEAM Retreat: Each January, fraternity and sorority student leaders take part in a three-day TEAM Retreat, with participation from each chapter and council. The curriculum is based on Community Wellness, Diversity Education & Inclusion, Leadership Education & Development, and Chapter Management. During TEAM, in-depth training modules focus on risk management, alcohol, other drugs, hazing, and sexual violence.

New Member Education Symposiums: All new members of social fraternities and sororities are expected to attend New Member Education. In Fall 2018, the New Member Education was restructured to the New Member Education Symposium, which included collaboration with the Well-being & Health Promotion Department. The New Member Education Symposiums feature 50-minute workshops on a range of topics.

Pre-Recruitment Education Program: New members must complete the Pre-Recruitment Education Program (PREP) prior to joining the fraternity and sorority community.  The online module provides students with information on alcohol and other drugs, sexual violence, hazing, campus policies, and expectations of members of the fraternity and sorority community.

Community Wellness Workshops: Each semester, Fraternity & Sorority Life collaborates with on-campus partners to host three community wellness workshops. Campus partners who have facilitated the Community Wellness Workshops include Well-being & Health Promotion, Counseling & Psychological Services, and the University Police Department, among others.

SDSU Greek Accreditation: Recognized fraternities and sororities participate in a robust Greek Accreditation program that evaluates individual chapters on the espoused values of Fraternity & Sorority Life: Academic Achievement, Alumni & Family Relations, Chapter Management, Community Relations, Community Wellness, Diversity Education & Inclusion, Leadership Education & Development, and Philanthropy & Service.  To address the standards within Greek accreditation, fraternities and sororities participate in programs, trainings, and events across campus and with their inter/national organizations. 

Two additional programs are offered: FratMANers & SISSTER: 

  • FratMANers is a peer health education program specifically for SDSU fraternity members. Its goal is to increase awareness about rape, potential rape situations and sexually coercive behavior while decreasing the acceptance of rape myths. 
  • SISSTER is a peer health education program specifically for SDSU sorority members. This program aims to train sorority women to be successful leaders in sexual violence awareness, prevention, intervention, and survivor support. The students who are trained in both programs facilitate sexual violence prevention and education work on campus in formal/informal settings.

Evidence of discrimination, disorderly behavior, alcohol being served at sponsored events, drug use, the lack of insurance at a major event, and other violations of the student code or law can lead to a suspension.

 

About University Support Services

San Diego State University is offering counseling support through Counseling and Psychological Services, in student housing, and also to fraternity members. The following information pertains to support available to any student, faculty or staff member in need.

A: Students who need support may contact: Dean of Students Randy Timm via [email protected] or 619-594-5211; therapists at Counseling and Psychological Services by calling 619-594-5220 or by emailing [email protected] or by calling the San Diego 24-hour Access and Crisis Line by dialing 888-724-7240.
A: Information, resources and tools are available for faculty and staff by calling 1-800-342-8111.
A: If you are reporting an emergency that requires immediate assistance, please dial 9-1-1.

As the University Police Department relies on information from the community, you can report a tip or share information by calling 619-594-1991 or by emailing [email protected] You may remain anonymous.

 

Other Questions

Task force members were selected in a variety of different ways. As President de la Torre and her leadership team have a number of conversations and received recommendations for both researchers and scholars and also content experts on our own campus. Also, individuals within Student Affairs, Faculty Affairs and Associated Students were directly consulted about possible members, and shared recommendations. Additionally, a number of individuals reached out to the Office of the President directly to inquire about serving.

Possibly. Each of the task force members have been charged with eliciting additional external task force members. Identifying additional content experts will be an explicit part of the work of both task force groups.

It is hugely important that the task force group members have both a deep knowledge and awareness of the SDSU campus community and culture, and also knowledge of broader issues and concerns within the higher education system. This will help ensure that the recommendations presented by both task force groups will be research-informed best practices that are both viable and sustainable for our SDSU community. Each task force group may opt to identify additional internal and external members based on their background and experience directly addressing alcohol and other drug use and misuse issues. 

All lofted beds and bunk beds located within San Diego State University residence halls are produced by national manufacturers and meet California State Fire Marshal requirements. Rails are installed on the top of all lofted beds and bunk beds in all SDSU on-campus housing. The beds and any affixed safety rails, ladders and kits are both attached and inspected by professional maintenance personnel before the start of each fall semester and also during the winter break.

Additional health and safety checks in rooms also occur during the academic year, as outlined by SDSU Housing terms and conditions, available online via Student Housing License Agreement Terms & Conditions 2019-2020.

The university community is devastated by the passing of Dylan Hernandez. We continue to offer support to students, faculty and staff, whether they are directly or indirectly affected by Hernandez’s passing. Information about support resources, and other information and details, are available via a centralized site: sdsu.edu/investigation. We continue to provide updates to the site as regularly as possible.

Support Resources

For students

Students needing support may contact:

Assistant Vice President for Campus Life & Dean of Students Randy Timm via [email protected] or 619-594-5211.

Therapists are available at Counseling and Psychological Services by calling 619-594-5220.

Students can also call the San Diego 24-hour Access and Crisis Line by dialing 888-724-7240.

For employees

Faculty and staff may call the University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) administered by Aetna at 1-800-342-8111 for confidential, round-the-clock counseling, or visiting the website: https://sdsuedu.sharepoint.com/sites/BFA/HR/benefits/Pages/eap.aspx.

University-sponsored medical insurance plans may provide additional counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation programs. Contact your medical insurance provider for more information. All contact is confidential.

Information for media

This page is kept current with information related to the suspension decision, task force groups and investigation. Please return frequently.

If you are seeking data or reports, please review information via SDSU's requesting public records webpage.

Media Contacts (general inquiries)

La Monica Everett-Haynes
Interim Associate Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
Strategic Communications and Public Affairs [email protected]

Cory Marshall
Interim Director of Media Relations
Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
[email protected]

Media Contact (police investigation)

Raquel Herriott
University Police Department
Community and Media Relations
Special Advisor to the Chief
619-594-1341
[email protected]