Society

All Frats Suspended At Clemson University After Pledge's Death

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

All fraternities are suspended at Clemson University after a 19-year-old student was found dead in a lake this week.

Tucker Hipps, a Sigma Phi Epsilon pledge and sophomore, died during a fraternity run around 5:30 a.m. Monday. He was reported missing at 1:45 p.m. after others realized he hadn’t returned with them.

His body was found floating in Lake Hartwell under a bridge. He suffered a head injury consistent with falling 20 to 23 feet, the Oconee County Coroner's Office reported.

School officials temporarily suspended 24 fraternities.

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“It is especially prudent to suspend fraternity activities given the tragic death of Tucker Hipps. There has been a high number of reports of serious incidents involving fraternity activities, ranging from alcohol-related medical emergencies to sexual misconduct,” Student Affairs Vice President Gail DiSabatino said in a statement.

"These behaviors are unacceptable and mandate swift and effective action to protect students," she said.

Someone called 911 Monday asking if police had possibily picked up Hipps.

“Hi, um, I’m calling to see if earlier this morning, or some point today, you all picked up a 19-year-old guy, like brown hair, he’s my buddy. I’m looking for him,” the student said in the 911 recording.

“Someone said that he was like, he was running with us and he said that he was, like...there, and we got back and we thought everybody made it back and he didn’t,” the student added.

Police have spoken with all 30 frat members who went on the run and they do not believe hazing played a role in the teen’s death.

Authorities added that they would not provide any more information on the death to avoid fuel speculation.

Sources: NBC News, New York Daily News

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Dick Rochester, New York Daily News / Facebook