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Cornell suspends frat after student death

March 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM

ITHACA, N.Y., March 21 (UPI) -- Cornell University says it has suspended a fraternity for at least five years after a 19-year-old student's alcohol-related death.

Vice President Susan Murphy ruled all members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon must vacate their fraternity house by March 31, reported The Cornell Daily Sun, the newspaper of the university in Ithaca, N.Y.

George Desdunes, an SAE brother, died Feb 25. The university found he was provided alcohol "while in the care of certain members and associate members" and lost consciousness.

"Even though the members and associate members recognized the condition Desdunes was in, they failed to call for medical care. He subsequently died," Murphy said.

The revocation of university recognition effectively dissolves the fraternity's official status.

Murphy said SAE members who were living in the fraternity house will get campus housing.

Ithaca and Cornell police, the New York State Police and the Tompkins County district attorney continue to investigate Desdunes' death.

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