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Kappa Sigma at West Virginia University is about to take another blow in the wake of a pledge’s death last semester. Although nothing will ever compete with the inexcusable tragedy that occurred last November, having a member charged in connection with the death of an aspiring member is pretty damn awful.
Nolan Burch, an 18-year-old Kappa Sigma pledge, died last semester after consuming an extraordinary amount of alcohol on “big/little night” at the fraternity house. He was found unresponsive on a table at the house and subsequently passed away two days later. His BAC on the night of the incident was .493. Burch’s big brother in the fraternity, Richard Schwartz, was arrested today in connection to Nolan’s death. According to officers, Schwartz is the one who provided Burch with the liquor that he consumed that night.
From Charleston Daily Mail:
Burch, an 18-year-old also from Williamsville, N.Y., died on Nov. 14 after suffering a “catastrophic medical emergency” during a pledging ceremony at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house.
Prosecutors allege Schwartz gave the underage Burch a bottle of liquor as part of “big/little night,” a common event among fraternities and sororities which involves an older fraternity member buying alcohol and other gifts for a younger “brother” or “sister” who recently pledged to the organization.
The Kappa Sigma national organization had revoked the chapter’s charter in the week before Burch’s death. Several days later, the university suspended the activities of all fraternities and sororities. The suspension was only lifted earlier this month.
Schwartz was charged with one count of hazing and one count of conspiring to commit hazing. If convicted, he could face a maximum of almost two years in jail. He was released on a $10,000 bond..
[via Charleston Daily News]
Image via Twitter / @NolanBurch9