Education Law

Dean Charged in Student Drinking Death

In what may be the first case of its kind, a dean of students and another Rider University administrator were among five people charged by a Mercer County, N.J., grand jury with aggravated hazing over the death of a student from alcohol poisoning.

If convicted, Dean of Students Anthony Campbell and Director of Greek Life Ada Badgley could each face up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine, reports the Trenton Times.

“Legal experts have said he and Badgley may be the only university administrators in the country ever charged in a hazing case,” the article states. “It is not clear what evidence the grand jury found to indict Campbell and Badgley, but both university and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office officials have said neither was present when [Gary] DeVercelly, 18, was hazed.”

The charges relate in part to the March 30 death of DeVercelly, a freshman from Long Beach, Calif., who reportedly drank more than half a bottle of vodka at a fraternity event. Rushed to a Trenton hospital after losing consciousness, he was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .426, five times the legal limit for driving, according to Inside Higher Ed.

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