WEST VIRGINIA (WIVB) — Before the death of their son, Nolan Burch’s family told CNN that West Virginia University officials knew of troubles at the fraternity to which Burch pledged.
Burch, a freshman at WVU, died whilst pledging to the Kappa Sigma fraternity in West Virginia, reportedly with a .493 blood alcohol content. Officials during the investigation into his death say fraternity leaders forced their pledges to drink from liquor bottles.
According to Kim Burch, who spoke with CNN, WVU knew about troubles at the fraternity earlier than after her son’s death.
She told CNN that there were troubles specifically with the Kappa Sigma fraternity, so much so that the national office installed cameras into the fraternity’s house in West Virginia.
Although Kappa Sigma’s chapter at WVU is now suspended, all Greek life is as well at the campus that reeled after the death of the freshman.
According to CNN, Kappa Sigma’s time at the university was limited, saying the fraternity had history of behaving inappropriately. The national office of Kappa Sigma reportedly notified WVU two days ahead of Burch’s death that it would pull the charter of the local chapter of Kappa Sigma.
The national office of Kappa Sigma reportedly went so far as to order the local chapter to stop holding functions as a fraternity, however CNN reports the directive wasn’t followed.
Two days after that notification, Burch died, sparking an investigation and subsequent arrests. Burch’s parents told CNN they would never have allowed their son to join the fraternity had the university warned them.
Burch’s family is currently pursuing a lawsuit against West Virginia University, according to their representation, to set a precedent for change in the culture of hazing