Crime | March 1, 2021 2:30 pm

VCU Suspends Fraternity Chapter After Death of Freshman Rushee

The student, 19-year-old Adam Oakes, had reportedly rushed Delta Chi

Snead Hall at VCU
Snead Hall at VCU.
Jeff Auth at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0

Over the weekend, tragedy struck Virginia Commonwealth University. The death of 19-year-old Adam Oakes, who was rushing the fraternity Delta Chi, prompted swift action from both the university and the national fraternity. VCU shut down the local chapter of the fraternity, and the national office of Delta Chi suspended the chapter in question as well.

The cause of Oakes’s death is undetermined as of now, according to a report from ABC News.

Oakes’s body was found in an off-campus apartment on Saturday morning. In an interview with ABC News, his cousin Courtney White said that Oakes was rushing Delta Chi. “[H]e was just trying to be accepted and find his place,” White said of her cousin’s decision to rush the fraternity.

Police are presently investigating the death. In a statement, Delta Chi said, “We encourage all members to cooperate with law enforcement, investigative efforts and all directives of the University Administration.”

A number of fraternity-related deaths in late 2019 sparked a widespread debate over unsafe behavior at fraternity chapters, one which continues to haunt administrators. Will the events at VCU do the same? As investigators learn more, we’ll have more clarity on this tragic death.