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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Two students may have been drugged at WSU fraternity house, officials say

Chad Sokol Correspondent

PULLMAN – Two students may have been drugged at a Washington State University fraternity house, and one was hospitalized “due to life-threatening blood alcohol levels,” officials said Wednesday.

The WSU chapter of Phi Delta Theta was suspended by its national headquarters Monday and has been under investigation by the university for several weeks, according to WSU’s Interfraternity Council. The IFC also suspended relations with the chapter.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, the IFC said “two students exhibited signs and symptoms that were consistent with being drugged” during a party at the Phi Delta Theta house on College Hill.

On a separate occasion, the fraternity held “a competition in which members were separated into teams based on their pledge class years, and were challenged to consume as much hard alcohol as possible,” the IFC said, adding that a new member had to be rushed to a hospital.

It’s not clear when the incidents occurred. Adam Jussel, the director of WSU’s Office of Student Conduct, said he couldn’t speak about the ongoing investigation.

Before the allegations were made public Wednesday, Pullman police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said his department didn’t know what prompted the WSU investigation.

“You’ve got a lot of alcohol flowing up there on College Hill,” Tennant said.

Chapter members and one of their advisers, Paul Burris, declined to comment. A spokesman for Phi Delta Theta’s national headquarters in Ohio did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

A fraternity member who spoke on condition of anonymity said the chapter had been on probation for previous disciplinary issues.

Several WSU fraternity and sorority chapters have been disbanded for problems such as hazing and underage drinking.

Two years ago, then-WSU President Elson Floyd banned alcohol in all Greek houses that house freshmen, citing an “unprecedented number of Greek chapters that have lost recognition in recent years.”

IFC president Nathan Harris said no freshmen were living in the Phi Delta Theta house.