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22 Northern Illinois University Students Charged In Freshman's Hazing Death

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 18, 2012 6:00PM

David Bogenberger
Five members of a fraternity at Northern Illinois University face felony hazing charges and another 17 were charged with misdemeanors in connection with the November death of a freshman pledge.

An autopsy on David Bogenberger of Palatine showed he died of a heart arrhythmia. Alcohol was contributing factor; Bogenberger’s blood alcohol level was nearly five times the legal limit for driving. He died during a Pi Kappa Alpha hazing ritual where investigators determined he was going room to room drinking alcohol.

Charged with class 4 felony hazing charges are Pi Kappa Alpha president Alexander M. Jandik, 21, and event planner Steven A. Libert, 20, of Naperville; fraternity vice president James P. Harvey, 21; fraternity pledge advisor Omar Salameh, 21; and fraternity secretary Patrick W. Merrill, 19, all of DeKalb. Seventeen other fraternity members were charged providing alcohol to underage pledges and "creating a situation where the pledges felt compelled to consume alcohol as part of membership initiation and the Greek parenting process." The misdemeanors carry a prison sentence of up to one year, while those charged with felonies could face three years in prison.

Bogenberger’s family issued a statement Monday calling for an end to fraternity hazing.

"No other family should endure what we are going through. Yet, we are losing these talented, beautiful and hopeful young people because of illegal drinking unrestrained by maturity and exacerbated by social pressure.

"We are trying to understand the reality of our David’s death. It is almost impossible for us to accept that David is gone at the age of 19; that our future does not include his excitement at learning and growing; becoming a man; marrying and having children; that these events will never happen.


“We have no desire for revenge. Rather, we hope that some significant change will come from David’s death. Alcohol poisoning claims far too many young, healthy lives. We must realize that young people can and do die in hazing rituals. Alcohol-involved hazing and initiation must end."

NIU has temporarily suspended Pi Kappa Alpha's status as a recognized student organization and the frat could face other sanctions. (Insert your double secret probation line here.)