Today 10 year anniversary of CSUC student Matt Carrington's death

Feb 2, 2015 6:15 PM by Brian Johnson

Ten years ago today, Chico State student and Chi Tau fraternity member Matthew Carrington died from what at the time was a shocking and unheard of form of hazing: water hazing.

The 21-year-old was forced to drink excessive amounts of water and exercise while cold fans blew on him, which lead to his death.

Tonight, Matt's family and friends will show the movie that was made about his tragic death, and will then hold a candlelight vigil.

For anyone who first learns of how Carrington died 10 years ago, the reaction then and now is pretty much the same: How could someone die from drinking too much water?

"It came from water," Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity member Tommy Quinn said. "I mean I didn't really know you could die from drinking too much water."

But it happened, and it shocked the nation.

It put some of Carrington's frat brothers on trial, and eventually, behind bars, for failing to call for help.

The next year, Matt's Law passed, making the consequences for hazing at California colleges much more severe.

A zero-tolerance policy is in place at Chico State.

"I think we are ahead of the pack just because we've had that reputation, we've had that issue, and because hazing and drinking are so linked, we've had to be on top of it a lot more than other campuses have been," Alpha Delta Pi's Darion Johnston said.

Johnston is an ambassador for Chico State Greek life, and last semester had the opportunity to see an ambassador for changing the culture of hazing, Carrington's mom.

"She was saying take care of your friends and you know, Greek life is a fun thing to be involved with, but you gotta make sure you're actually being a brother or a sister in your fraternity or sorority to make sure you're looking out for one another, you're being a bystander in those kinds of situations, you're not doing hazing," Johnston said.

She and other Greek students we spoke with say hazing doesn't happen here, and add the university has cracked down on fraternity and sorority affairs.

"I would go through the pledge process again," Quinn said. "I loved it."


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