BLOOMINGTON — The Sigma Pi fraternity at Illinois Wesleyan University has been placed on interim suspension while the university investigates events surrounding the death of a student attending the fraternity’s annual formal at White Pines State Park last month.
In addition, a task force is looking into whether changes are needed in the university’s policies regarding off-campus social events.
A memorial service for Brandon Landau, a freshman from New York, took place Tuesday night at IWU’s Presser Hall.
He was last seen about 2 a.m. March 4 at the fraternity event in Oregon. He was found about nine hours later, unresponsive and face-down in knee-deep water in a creek at the edge of the park.
He was taken to Rockford Memorial Hospital, where he died.
Winnebago County Coroner Elizabeth “Sue” Fiduccia said preliminary autopsy results indicated Landau had alcohol and marijuana in his system when he died. She said it will be at least another two weeks before final autopsy results are in.
Karla Carney-Hall, IWU vice president of student affairs/dean of students, said the task force will review the university’s off-campus events policies and alcohol education initiatives to see whether changes should be made.
“My hope would be to make headway on policy changes before summer so we can have new policies in place this fall,” Carney-Hall said, noting that could be “overly ambitious” because the semester ends in less than a month.
Fraternities and sororities are required to register all events, but the Sigma Pi formal was not registered, Carney-Hall said. One purpose of the registration process is to address risk management and alcohol use, she said.
The suspension will continue until an All-University Judicial Council hearing, which Carney-Hall expects before finals.