A Washington State University student was found dead in his dorm last week.
WSU made national headlines last month when one of its criminology graduate students, 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger, became the main and only suspect in the brutal quadruple murders in the neighbouring college town of Moscow.
The university and its Greek life have now come under scrutiny after 19-year-old freshman Luke Tyler was found dead on 22 January at the Pullman campus. Foul play is not suspected but Tyler’s official cause of death will be determined by an autopsy later this week, The Daily Evergreen reported.
A group of Tyler’s friends have since claimed that his sudden death followed “a long and cruel pledging process allowed by his fraternity,” Theta Chi, The Spokesman-Review reported. In a Change.org petition, they demanded that the fraternity is disbanded.
“Their inhumane and cruel hazing forced Luke, and many others to do things nobody should ever be forced to do,” the description read. “We demand that Theta Chi be investigated, shut down and the fraternity’s president, as well as pledge masters and others with power in the fraternity be investigated for their involvement with the death of Luke Tyler.”
More than 9,000 people have signed the petition.
Meanwhile, Tyler’s grieving family remembered him as an “amazing person with an incredible [effect] on everyone whose life he touched.”
A spokesman for the university told CBS affiliate KREM2 that no details about Tyler’s death will be released pending the investigation by law enforcement.
“Arguably the most important element of this protocol is the direct outreach from our Dean of Students Office to the family and friends of the decedent. I’m very thankful for the incredible work and ongoing support services provided by our Dean of Students in this case, and overall, the university said in a statement.
The Independent has reached out to WSU Police.