LSU students react to latest developments in frat pledge's death

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The death of Phi Delta Theta fraternity pledge, 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver, is hanging over the heads of students at LSU.

Student Charlyn Leblanc said, "I never thought that it would happen on LSU's campus because I know how strong our sororities and fraternities are."

Student Kenny Hilliard said he's still shocked.

"It's something you really don't want to wake up too," he said.

The recent developments have left students wondering why no one stepped in.

"I was really shocked because hazing is not something you do. I don't think it's that serious. It's never that serious. It's supposed to be a brotherhood, brothers don't do that," Leblanc said.

Hilliard suggests that individuals should "step up" and watch out for one another.

"You shouldn't be afraid to speak up. I think somebody should've stepped in and brought them to the side," he said.

LSU's President F. King Alexander released a statement earlier today that said, in part, "Maxwell Gruver's family will mourn his loss for the rest of their lives, and several other students are now facing serious consequences – all due to a series of poor decisions." The president also said, "Affecting real change requires students, faculty, staff, administration and alumni engagement. I ask that anyone who might have information that would prove useful in our Greek Life Task Force's efforts to inform a healthier culture for all LSU students reach out to"

Leblanc said tougher restrictions are needed.

"Hazing is not just an LSU conflict, it's all schools. It's something that needs to be pushed more, something that needs to be vocalized more because it's not okay," Leblanc said.

LSU said fraternities and sororities will be allowed to resume chapter activities after attending a risk management seminar and submitting signatures from all members acknowledging they understand the rules, which includes not hosting new member "study groups" and "overnight retreats."

Any violation could result in probation, suspension or expulsion. Students said they hope Gruver's death will bring about change.

"You've got to take control of your actions and somebody's got to be there for somebody," said Hilliard.

"That's nothing to play around with. Hazing is never that serious, ever," said Leblanc.

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