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BU president and dean of students meet with Greek life leaders after student's death

Posted by Your Town  March 7, 2013 01:18 PM

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Boston University President Robert Brown and Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore met with the school’s Greek life leaders Wednesday night after a freshman who had attended a BU fraternity party died early Saturday morning, according to university officials.

BU spokesman Colin Riley said in a phone interview that the administration and Greek life leaders needed to discuss “what is and what is not working.”

Boston University suspended the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity Monday for hosting the off-campus party last weekend where Anthony Barksdale II, a 19-year-old engineering student from New Hampshire, was found unconscious and later died.

Officials say the cause of his death has not been determined.

Elmore said today that the meeting consisted of executive boards members of all the 24 BU fraternities and sororities. Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity members did not attend, as they are no longer officially recognized by BU.

Elmore said he has met with the Greek life leaders several times this year, to discuss issues such as bystander behavior and hazing. This was the first time that President Brown had been in attendance.

"We’ve been in constant dynamic conversation," Elmore said of the relationship between the administration and Greek life leaders.

Barksdale's death was one of several incidents at BU fraternities this past year.

In October, the university suspended the Sigma Chi fraternity while officials investigated hazing allegations. The university suspended the BU chapter of Sigma Delta Tau last spring, after reports that underage females were forced or encouraged to drink.

And in April, more than a dozen members of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity allegedly covered five victims in hot sauce, honey, fish sauce, and coffee grounds. At the time, Alpha Epsilon Pi was not recognized by Boston University.

According to the BU website, the university is providing bus transportation to Barksdale’s funeral, which will take place on Saturday in Amherst, N.H.

In an e-mail sent Saturday, Brown wrote that “the thoughts and prayers of all of us go out to the family and friends who are experiencing this heartbreaking loss.”

“As of this writing, we do not know what led to Anthony’s untimely death,” he wrote. “University officials responsible for public safety will work with Boston public officials to understand what may have led to this terrible loss.”

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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