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San Diego State to adopt 'Good Samaritan' policy, new Greek life rules after student death

Posted at 4:49 PM, Jan 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-25 09:37:28-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In a letter to students, San Diego State said it is implementing recommendations by two task forces formed in response to a student's death late last year.

The death of Dylan Hernandez last November sparked SDSU's President Adela de la Torre to direct two Presidential Task Force Groups to evaluate student activities and safety practices around alcohol and substance misuse.

Hernandez had reportedly attended a fraternity party the night before his death and had a high blood-alcohol level when he fell from his bunk bed and suffered fatal head injuries.

RELATED: Autopsy report of SDSU student who died after fall from bed released

Three measures will be adopted by the university immediately, according to the school, though members of both task forces will continue to meet through the current semester to consider additional recommendations.

A Good Samaritan policy to incentivize students and organizations to look after students' health and safety is one such measure. The policy will remove conduct penalties for certain alcohol and other drug violations and apply when a student organization seeks "timely assistance from appropriate emergency personnel and SDSU staff for any student impacted by alcohol or other drugs at a student organization activity," according to the school.

SDSU says the policy is meant to help organizations "take appropriate action" in the event of a student emergency and make sure those organizations are "not met with formal disciplinary sanctions for reporting the issue."

RELATED: San Diego State suspends 14 fraternities after student is hospitalized

Effective spring 2020, the campus said social fraternities and sororities will be held to a new set of policies around recruitment and new member education. Those policies can be found here.

Under those new rules, Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Theta Chi are ineligible to participate in Interfraternity Council (IFC) recruitment activities effective Thursday, the school says.

SDSU's Office of Student Life & Leadership will also introduce an “Organizational Policy & Misconduct” section to its website. There, the public can access information about the judicial status of campus organizations, including decision letters or overviews of allegations, findings, and sanctions against any organizations; reports of known misconduct; and a list of organizations under interim suspension.

San Diego State Police are still investigating the events surrounding Hernandez's death, including what role the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta, which Hernandez was trying to join, may have played. After autopsy results were released Thursday, campus police said they "will be evaluating the findings as part of the ongoing investigation."