Updated 12/18/12 – 5:40 p.m.
DEKALB, Ill. (CBS) — Twenty-two members of a fraternity at Northern Illinois University have been charged in connection with the death of a student from excessive drinking during a hazing ritual last month.
CBS 2’s Chris Martinez reports David Bogenberger, 19, had a blood alcohol level five times the legal limit when he died. Authorities blamed his death on hazing.
Bogenberger family attorney Peter Coladarchi said, more than anything, Bogenberger wanted to belong.
“This was a part of who he wanted to be, and what he wanted his college experience to be, is to be part of a fraternity group of friends,” Coladarchi said.
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Bogenberger had recently pledged the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at NIU. He was eager to be a member of the fraternity house, which is where his life ended on Nov. 2.
On Monday, 22 members of the fraternity were charged in connection with Bogenberger’s death. Five members have been charged with felony hazing; seventeen others face misdemeanor charges.
NIU senior Kody Anderson, a member of another fraternity at NIU, said he’s outraged a fellow student died after a hazing incident.
“They shouldn’t be hazing at all, actually. It’s against policy, it’s against the rules,” he said. “I was shocked at it, to be honest, and didn’t ever think it would happen on this campus.”
DeKalb police said Bogenberger’s body was found in the fraternity house last month, after an unsanctioned pledge event.
Anderson said his own fraternity is opposed to such hazing rituals.
“I wouldn’t be a part of it. I would never want to do anything like that,” he said.
Hazing is, in fact, against the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity’s own rules, according to national guidelines posted online.
For now, the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at NIU has been suspended.
A statement from Bogenberger’s family reached for a silver lining in his death.
“We hope significant change will come from David’s death,” they said. “Alcohol-involved hazing … must end.”
Coladarchi said the family is “coping.”
“It’s a struggle. Every day is emotional; the reminders that come and go in unexpected ways, that trigger feelings,” he said. “It’s not easy.”
Police were allowing the charged fraternity members to turn themselves in. As of early Tuesday evening, 13 of the fraternity members had turned themselves in. At least seven of those have posted bond and been released, pending their next court date on Jan. 8 at the DeKalb County Courthouse.
NIU officials were considering suspensions or expulsions for as many as 31 students as a result of Bogenberger’s death.