25 years later, Missouri hazing death consequences remain

1 month 2 days 20 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 9:40:00 AM CST February 18, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Twenty-five years after Michael Davis died from injuries suffered in a brutal fraternity hazing ritual at Southeast Missouri State University, his death still has far-reaching consequences.

Davis was pledging the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity when he died from internal bleeding on Feb. 15, 1994, after collapsing a day earlier. The autopsy found fractured ribs, lung, liver and kidney damage, a bruised and bleeding heart, and spinal hemorrhaging.

More than a dozen men associated with Kappa Alpha Psi, a traditionally black fraternity, were prosecuted, including seven for involuntary manslaughter. Sentences ranged from probation to incarceration. The fraternity was banned from Southeast.

The Southeast Missourian reports the fallout included legislation in Missouri creating a felony for serious hazing, and national scrutiny of fraternity hazing practices.

At a memorial service in February 1994, Edith Davis said her son was a kind soul.

"He couldn't kill a spider," she said. She called the hazing "cold-blooded murder."

In 1996, the Kappa Alpha Psi national organization paid $2.25 million to Davis' parents as part of a lawsuit.

A quarter-century later, Davis' death has faded into the background of campus history. But it remains a personal tragedy for Tamara Zellars Buck, a faculty member in the mass media department, who worked with Davis on the campus newspaper.

She recalled when the staff learned of his death.

"We were sitting here trying to process that our friend was dead," Buck said.

The lives of Kappa Alpha Psi members were damaged, too. One member, who was not involved in the hazing, received death threats and withdrew from SEMO, Buck said.

Southeast, like most universities, now works hard to educate fraternity and sorority members about the dangers of hazing. Few cases rise to criminal level, but SEMO handles student code violations through its own judicial system. Sanctions can range up to expulsions.

Students are required to sign an anti-hazing statement.

Sonia Rucker, dean of students and assistant to the president for equity and diversity, tells students "we are a campus that has experienced the worst consequence of hazing, so we are going to be extremely vigilant."

Over the past six years, students were found to have violated the anti-hazing policy in four cases, according to the university's website. One of those was Phi Beta Sigma, a traditionally African-American fraternity. In 2015, its charter was suspended for three years. Details of the violation were not disclosed.

Xavier Payne, president of the fraternity's Southeast chapter, said that even all these years later, Davis' death should send a message that students should never accept abuse to join an organization. "It is not worth it," he said.

___

Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) — Sydney Aiello, who survived the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, has died from... More >>
49 minutes ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 4:45:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Fire Department is looking for a missing man in Columbia. 86-year-old Michael Smith disappeared around... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:56:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
SUNRISE BEACH - The smell of fresh barbecue filled the air at the Bear Bottom Resort this afternoon. The community... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:20:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A fire broke out at the intersection of Broadway and Old Highway 63 South. The fire was... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:00:03 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
BOWLING GREEN — A student at Bowling Green High School died Friday after a car crash according to the... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 2:55:12 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - The Audrain County Sheriff's Office is searching for a man wanted on outstanding felony charges. In... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 12:31:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia city leaders met in a closed meeting on Friday to propose ways to build relationships between the... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 6:39:00 PM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday turned over his long-awaited final report on the contentious Russia... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 4:23:00 PM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Parts of northwest Missouri are being evacuated following severe flooding throughout the day. Officials in St. Joseph... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 3:25:00 PM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Two lawsuits for discrimination, filed against Columbia Public Schools and a former assistant superintendent, were dismissed Thursday. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 2:26:00 PM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police were investigating shots fired in the 1000 block of Elleta Blvd. An officer on scene said... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 1:48:00 PM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — More towns are evacuating as the flooded Missouri River seeps over and through busted levees.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 12:38:00 PM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY - A Glasgow woman in jail for a probation violation died Thursday, according to a news release. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 11:59:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools students will have school on the day after Memorial Day, a reversal from the previously... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 11:42:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A federal grand jury indicted the man accused of starting a fire at Planned Parenthood on new charges.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 10:11:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An overnight fire at the ABB facility started in the building's exhaust system, according to a news... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 9:27:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
(CNN) - Farmers in parts of Nebraska and Iowa had precious little time to move themselves from the floodwaters that... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 5:37:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - City leaders will meet Friday to try to find a solution to the recent spike in gun violence... More >>
1 day ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019 5:30:00 AM CDT March 22, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 61°
6pm 59°
7pm 57°
8pm 54°
9pm 53°