University Suspends All Frats After Pledge Dies

Clemson student Tucker Hipps fell from bridge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2014 4:31 AM CDT
University Suspends All Frats After Pledge Dies
In this Oct. 19, 2012, photo, Tucker Hipps, right, stands next to Wren High School head football coach Jeff Tate while being honored during the school's senior night in Piedmont, SC.   (AP Photo/Anderson Independent Mail, Nathan Gray)

The unexplained death of a 19-year-old pledge at Clemson this week was the 15th "serious incident" involving fraternities at the South Carolina university in the space of a month, and the institution has now decided to suspend the activities of all 24 fraternities, a spokeswoman tells WYFF4. The other incidents range from "alcohol-related medical emergencies to sexual misconduct," the spokeswoman says. "These behaviors are unacceptable and mandate swift and effective action to protect students. There is no higher priority than the safety and welfare of our students." Divers found the body of Sigma Phi Epsilon pledge Tucker Hipps under a bridge Monday afternoon after he failed to come back from an early-morning group run, reports NBC.

Hipps had a head injury and appeared to have fallen from 20 to 23 feet, according to the coroner's office. The sheriff's department says that despite "speculation and innuendo," hazing does not seem to have been a factor—but it has decided to stop releasing information on the case for now. The teenager was last seen running with a group of up to 30 frat members between 5:30am and 6:30am, the Independent Mail reports. He was noticed missing at breakfast, but police were not contacted until 1:45pm. According to a 911 call transcript released by authorities, the caller said he didn't want to file a missing persons report. "We don't want to file a report; we just want to see if you can help us out," he said. (More Clemson stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.