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Cal State Chico suspends Greek life after student's death

Cal State Chico University suspended all Greek activity Thursday following the death last week of a student who consumed too much alcohol.

Fraternities and sororities cannot hold any more activities and must cover up or remove the letters on their houses. Strict guidelines for reforming the houses will be negotiated at the beginning of the spring 2013 semester, said university President Paul Zingg in a noon meeting with Greek student leaders.

“We need to re-set, review and think about our future together,” Zingg said in a release. “The system has to rise or fall on the commitment of its members.”

San Diego native Mason Sumnicht took what police called a "ridiculous" number of shots while celebrating his 21st birthday at various bars, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record. He was found unresponsive in an apartment on Nov. 4 and taken to a hospital.

Sumnicht was removed from life support Monday because he had severe, permanent brain damage, the newspaper reported.

About 1,200 of the university's 16,470 students are involved in Greek organizations. University officials said they warned fraternity and sorority leadership earlier this year about alcohol consumption, hazing, alleged assaults and other violations. Sumnicht was pledging to a fraternity at the time of his death, university officials said.


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-- Frank Shyong


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