Breaking: Police investigation into freshman death closed, no charges filed

File Photo.

File photo

File Photo.

In a campus-wide email, President Adela de la Torre announced the conclusion of San Diego State University Police Department’s six-month-long investigation into the November 2019 death of freshman student Dylan Hernandez. 

University police, in collaboration with the San Diego County District Attorney’s office, found no evidence suggesting Hernadez’s death was connected to hazing and no charges were filed, according to a joint statement released Thursday afternoon. 

“There were no injuries upon Hernandez’s body that appeared consistent with hazing, and no evidence of student group activities likely to cause serious bodily injury or death, which is statutorily required to prove hazing,” the statement said.

According to an autopsy report, Hernandez’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head when he fell off a bunk bed after attending a “non-university” fraternity event. Hernandez was rushing Phi Gamma Delta fraternity (also known as FIJI) at the time. 

SDSU will now conduct an independent investigation into student misconduct. 

“These campus-led administrative investigations will focus on potential violations of university policies, unlike UPD’s investigation, which considered only potential criminal violations,” the email said. 

In addition to the investigation findings, de la Torre included a list of changes to community guidelines regulating Greek life on campus. These recommendations were provided by the Presidential Task Force Groups.

The new policies proposed include hazing acknowledgment, restricted times for hosted events, a ‘good Samaritan’ reporting policy and new requirements for brotherhood and sisterhood events, the email said. 

Under these new guidelines events hosted by fraternities and sororities will require agendas and national office board approval. 

“All must identify and address potential risks, provide an hour-by-hour agenda, submit a risk management form for review, and coordinate with the national office or board to seek approval for the event,” the email said. “For off-campus events not held at a designated fraternity/sorority houses, national office and or alumni advisors must be present at the activity to help facilitate leadership events and team bonding activities.”

Additionally, starting in Fall 2020 all fraternities and sororities must submit a formal acknowledgment of hazing policies. 

A timeline for the university’s independent investigation was not provided. 

 

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