Poconos Hazing: Fraternity 'Glass Ceiling' Game Kills Student

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 09:34 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The New York City college student who died while at a fraternity retreat in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains this week suffered "major brain trauma" during a hazing game called the "glass ceiling," officials said Wednesday.

Chun Hsien Deng, a 19-year-old freshman at Baruch College in Manhattan who also went by the name "Michael," died Monday at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital after sustaining life-threatening injuries while pledging the school's Pi Delta Psi fraternity, the New York Times reported.

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Police said about 30 fraternity brothers and four freshman pledges were staying at a home in Tunkhannock Township, Pa., near Stroudsburg, for a weekend retreat. Early Sunday morning, the boys were reportedly playing a game called the "glass ceiling," in which the pledges are blindfolded and made to carry a heavy item on their backs. The task is to navigate toward someone calling for them all while being tackled by the other brothers.

At some point, Deng was injured and, "after some time," taken to a local hospital and placed on life support. Hospital administrators called police around 8:15 a.m. Sunday, and Deng died Monday morning, according to county district attorney E. David Christine Jr.

Christine said no ambulance was called and no medical service was provided before someone finally drove Deng to the hospital. The time lapse is being investigated, according to the Times.

Baruch administrators called the retreat an "unsanctioned fraternity pledging event" and noted that all fraternity and sorority members at the school are required "to sign statements that they understand and will abide by the college's policies regarding organizing a pledge class and antihazing protocols."

Pi Delta Psi describes itself as an "Asian American cultural fraternity" with a mission "to spread Asian American cultural awareness in an effort to empower the entire Asian American community."

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