A 20-year-old sophomore at Bowling Green State University has died after being found in “dire” condition following a fraternity hazing incident. Stone Foltz was rushed to a hospital early Friday after he was found by his roommates following what one fellow student described as a “deathly” and “crazy” alcohol-related hazing event.
He died of his injuries on Sunday, leaving friends and family reeling.
“It’s hard to imagine my life without him,” Duncan Faulk, Foltz’s freshman roommate, told ABC 13. “He’s been there since I’ve grown up, and having him as a friend is one of the only things I’ve always known.”
Lindsey Taylor, a student who told The Columbus Dispatch she knew Foltz, said, “He was a friend of mine and he deserves justice. These fraternities can't keep getting a slap on the wrist. His life was just starting, and now that frat has caused so much trauma on so many people who loved him.”
Taylor was one of several dozen students to take part in a protest on campus Tuesday to both honor Foltz and demand change to stop hazing in the wake of his death.
The 20-year-old had attended an off-campus event for the BGSU chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity on Thursday night where pledges were pressured to drink “copious” amounts of alcohol, according to Sean Alto, an attorney for the Foltz family.
A Bowling Green student who spoke to news outlet WTOL 11 on the condition of anonymity said pledges were told to drink “a handle of any alcohol” given to them and “finish the whole thing in the time we’re there before we leave.”
A handle of alcohol contains nearly 40 shots.
“It’s crazy to me that they can allow this deathly and neglectful drinking to go on. I think it’s incredible to me that they try to hide themselves behind this organization,” the student said.
The university said it was aware of the “alleged hazing activity involving alcohol consumption” at an off-campus event and has “placed this fraternity on interim suspension as we work with local law enforcement.”
The fraternity has issued a statement saying it is “horrified and outraged” by the hazing incident.
“The fraternity has a zero-tolerance policy toward illegal activity, substance abuse, bullying, and hazing of any kind. Let us reiterate in the strongest terms: We refuse to defend or condone any behavior that creates dangerous environments or situations for our members or the larger campus community at any of our 200+ chapters in the United States and abroad,” the statement said.
The fraternity said it is cooperating with an investigation and has suspended the chapter involved in the incident. Bowling Green police confirmed that an investigation was underway but gave no further details.
Foltz graduated from Buckeye Valley High School in Ohio in 2019 and was said to be active in various sports.
Tragically, he lost his life just a few months after a law meant to crack down on hazing slowed to a halt in the Ohio Senate.
“It happens year after year after year. It’s been going on for a long time, and these young men in these fraternities who are given the reins to power, they just don’t seem to get what they’re doing is wrong,” Alto was quoted saying by WTOL 11. “It causes serious, catastrophic, life-altering harm and death. And they just don’t seem to get it. And, you know, one of the things that I'm hopeful for is that this year, the Ohio legislators (could) pass Collin’s Law, which was introduced last year but didn’t make it.”