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Concord Monitor – Dartmouth suspends fraternities and sororities after student dies

In this May 22, 2018 photo, students walk across The Green in front of Baker-Berry Library at Dartmouth College.
Charles Krupa/AP archive photo

Dartmouth College responded quickly and suspended two Greek organizations involved in a social event where excessive drinking was reported. A student at the event is suspected of drowning in the Connecticut River on Saturday.

Dartmouth announced late Tuesday that it was suspending Beta Alpha Omega fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority as the school cooperates with Hanover police in an investigation into the death of Won Jang, a 20-year-old member of the Class of 2026 whose body was recovered from the river Sunday and who had not been seen since the previous evening.

“Dartmouth has suspended two Greek organizations, Beta Alpha Omega and Alpha Phi, due to an ongoing investigation. We are working closely with the Hanover Police Department as they investigate,” Dartmouth spokeswoman Jana Barnello said in an email.

Jang, a native of Middletown, Delaware, and a member of Beta Alpha Omega, lived at the fraternity during what’s known as “sophomore summer,” when sophomores spend a semester at college before starting their third year of college, the fall semester.

Under Dartmouth’s suspension policy, Greek organizations are prohibited from hosting events, recruiting new members, and collecting dues, all of which limit the organization’s ability to participate in Greek life on campus.

Dartmouth did not provide a reason for the suspensions, but both Greek organizations were recently subject to disciplinary action by the college, according to Barnello. At the time of Jang’s death, Beta Alpha Omega was on alcohol probation after being suspended for the fall, winter and spring 2023-24 terms. The probation period began when the spring semester began on June 20.

Alpha Phi was placed on alcohol supervision for the fall 2023 semester and was reinstated in good standing for the fall semester.

Hanover Police Chief Charlie Dennis said police received information that Jang’s alleged drowning may have been related to a social event involving drinking and hazing, but until Monday, police did not know whether the alleged event was an “official” event held at Greek organizations or an unofficial social gathering held off-campus.

Jang was last seen Saturday at about 9:30 p.m. in the area of ​​the docks near the Ledyard Bridge and the Dartmouth Boathouse, according to NH Fish and Game, which oversaw the rescue operation involving Upper Valley police and fire departments. He was reported missing the next day after he failed to show up for a scheduled meeting on Sunday.

Neither Beta Alpha Omeha nor Alpha Phi immediately responded to requests for comment sent Tuesday evening.

Contact John Lippman at [email protected].