UI student dies at fraternity formal, FSL sees two bans as result


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Sunset Feature Photo

Emily Hammer

Iowa State students are wondering how a recent death in University of Iowa’s Fraternity and Sorority (FSL) life will impact Iowa State’s greek community and alcohol policies.

After the death of University of Iowa freshman Kamil Jackowski at a fraternity formal over the weekend, UI FSL leaders have instituted an immediate ban on events with alcohol along with an immediate and permanent ban on out-of-town formals.

Jackowski, a member of Sigma Chi fraternity at UI, was found unresponsive Sunday morning at the resort his fraternity was at on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. After a preliminary autopsy, officials do not suspect foul play and say toxicology results will be completed in six to eight weeks.

In a statement responding to the death, Panhellenic Council President Anna Long and Interfraternity Council President Zach Rubenbauer addressed the UI FSL and placed the ban in effect from May 1 and “will continue until further notice.”

The statement tells students the ban are not a punishment; instead, “they are an acknowledgement that we must address the pervasive and dangerous alcohol culture that exists within our community,” Long and Rubenbauer wrote.

They also detail that the ban on alcohol will continue until leaders can work to make the events safer for FSL members.

“It is evident that we must band together as a community in this moment and demand improvement for the safety and wellbeing of our members,” the statement says.

Although Iowa State’s greek community has not seen any deaths at formals in recent years, Jackowski’s death and UI’s two bans might cause Iowa State’s community to rethink their policy.

Despite having vice presidents of risk management and working with the Safe Neighborhoods Team to speak on alcohol and other subjects, Iowa State’s greek community still often sees disciplinary action from the Office of Student Conduct due to alcohol misuse.

Most recently to receive Misuse of Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances sanctions are Chi Omega, Alpha Phi and Phi Kappa Theta, all of which happened in March of 2017.

The last time a significant push for a change in alcohol policy occurred was in 2004 – when, by November, four students nationwide had already died of alcohol-related causes.

Analysis from a recent project about alcohol at Iowa State showed that although individuals make up 15 percent of students on campus, they are involved in 23.5 percent of all the cases that come before The Office of Student Conduct. Of these cases, about 38 percent on average are alcohol-related. Leaders also commented about ways they are currently being proactive in teaching safe drinking habits. Read more here

Alcohol policies are reevaluated by administration each year in order to decide what is best for Iowa State students.

Iowa State’s Office of Greek Affairs could not be reached at this time for comment on how Jackowski’s death and UI’s bans might impact Iowa State’s greek community in the future.

Editor’s note: The original story incorrectly stated that Delta Tau Delta was given Misuse of Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances sanctions. The article has been updated to correctly state the three chapters that were charged.