NEW YORK (PIX11) – A Baruch College freshman died Monday after being injured over the weekend during an “unsanctioned” fraternity pledging event in Pennsylvania.
Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng, 19, was in the Poconos with about 30 members of the Pi Delta Psi Fraternity. Deng was among three other pledges with the group.
Pi Delta Psi is an “Asian-American cultural fraternity,” according to their website.
The Pocono Record reports that Deng was injured during a “ritual” in the backyard of the home Sunday morning.
He was brought some time later to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital with major brain trauma and was placed on life support. He died Monday.
The Facebook page for the fraternity’s Baruch chapter has been taken down.
Baruch College released a statement Wednesday saying, “Baruch College is saddened to confirm the recent death of Chun Hsien (Michael) Deng, a Baruch freshman, as reported to us by the president of the national fraternity Pi Delta Psi. The preliminary reports indicate that Michael died over the weekend while participating in an unsanctioned fraternity pledging event in the Poconos, PA. Baruch College had no knowledge of this event or that the fraternity was rushing a pledge class. Pi Delta Psi did not request permission nor were they approved by Baruch on this matter.”
The statement goes on to say that Baruch was a “zero tolerance policy” on hazing. “Michael’s death is a deeply painful reminder that no individual should ever be put in a position where his or her personal safety is in jeopardy. Our deepest sympathies go out to Michael’s family and his friends at Baruch and at home.”
The college says it is conducting their own internal review, as well as cooperating fully with law enforcement.
We will have more on this story on the PIX11 News at 5.