Pi Delta Psi Fraternity Responsible for Brutal Death of College Freshman


The Baruch chapter of the national fraternity, Pi Delta Psi, is now facing murder charges in connection with a brutal hazing ritual, which resulted in the death of freshman Michael Deng.  The freshman went on a weekend retreat to Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains with the fraternity and never made it home.

Mr. Deng was blindfolded and forced to run across a frozen yard wearing a backpack filled with 20 to 30 pounds of sands, while fraternity brothers plowed into him.  Deng was subject to repeated blunt force trauma and blacked out from a significant head injury.  However, instead of taking they’re soon to be “brother” to the hospital, they called the fraternity’s national president, Andy Meng, who advised them to hide all fraternity materials.  The medical examiner concluded that this delay in medical attention “significantly contributed” to Deng’s death.  Furthermore, they transported Deng in a private vehicle, which means he received no medical attention till he actually got to the hospital, approximately 2 hours later.  Subsequently, Deng died due to major brain trauma and delayed in medical treatment.

The Monroe County, Pennsylvania, grand jury has recommended charges against 37 members, which include third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.  These are life-altering charges.  Although Deng’s family appeared pleased with the severity of the charges brought against Pi Delta Psi, it still does not bring their son back.

We have seen this devastating result of hazing one too many times.  Although I am sure it was not the fraternity’s intention to cause the death of this young man, their reckless behavior could make them just as culpable.  Pledging activities are believed to bring fraternity or sorority members closer.  However, initiation secrets and rituals are very far off from physical abuse.  In no way does physical abuse promote any type of loyalty or trust, which is said to be at the basis of pledging in general.  Hazing leaves pledges feeling ridiculed, embarrassed, humiliated, and in instances such as this, dead.  Every national fraternity/sorority and every university prohibits any form of hazing, but it still exists. Who is monitoring these recruitment processes?  Mr. Deng’s death should serve as a cautionary tale to any fraternity/sorority who participates in this kind of behavior.  A young man is dead and for what?  Brotherhood?

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