University Responds to Off-Campus Tragedy

March 26, 2012 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Officials at Illinois Wesleyan University announced the interim suspension of the Sigma Pi Fraternity while it investigates the events surrounding the fraternity's unregistered annual formal, which was held at White Pine State Park in northern Illinois the weekend of March 4. In addition, a special taskforce was appointed to review policies and procedures related to off-campus social events.

"The tragic death of student Brandon Landau has shocked the entire campus and leaves everyone searching for ways to console friends and support the Landau family through this very difficult time," said President Richard F. Wilson who attended Landau's funeral in New York. "The circumstances surrounding Brandon's death also gives rise to a desire to do everything possible to keep something like this from happening in the future."

Vice President for Student Affairs Karla Carney-Hall and her staff began the investigation immediately following news of Landau's death. The review is focused on three areas: (1) the unregistered event, (2) campus policies regarding off-campus events, and (3) enhancements to current education initiatives that support healthy and responsible behavior at events of this type.

The Office of Judicial Affairs is responsible for investigating the incident in accordance with the University's Student Code of Conduct. Following the tragedy the fraternity placed itself on social probation. After its preliminary investigation the University decided to impose the interim suspension, which restricts chapter activities to meetings held with an advisor present. The interim suspension will remain in effect until the investigation is completed and the All-University Judicial Council holds a hearing.

Additionally, Wilson appointed a task force to undertake a review of campus policies and procedures related to off-campus social events. This comprehensive review will consider the safety and wellbeing of students who attend such gatherings. The Task Force will also determine what enhancements may be appropriate to current alcohol education initiatives that promote healthy and responsible behavior at off-campus events. A report and recommendations will be provided to Carney-Hall, whose office oversees judicial affairs, student activities, Fraternity and Sorority Life and alcohol education programs.

"The safety and well-being of all students is of paramount importance to the University," President Wilson wrote in a memo about the investigation sent to the campus community.

Contact: Matt Kurz (309) 556-3203