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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All of IU saddened by student's death

January 19, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University officials today expressed condolences to the family of student Brian Macken, 19, of Riverside, Conn., who died Tuesday evening at Bloomington Hospital, where he was being treated after becoming unconscious four days earlier at the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity house.

"We have all been saddened by the loss of one of our students, and we have extended our heartfelt condolences to Brian's family members who have been at his side at the hospital for the past few days," said Dean of Students Harold "Pete" Goldsmith. "This is a tragedy, and we are attempting to determine exactly what happened, primarily with a view to ensure that nothing like this ever occurs again."

Goldsmith said Brian's professors and students who knew him will be personally notified today of his death.

"We will be working closely with students from the fraternity and residence halls who have been impacted by Brian's untimely death," Goldsmith said.

Macken, a sophomore, was not a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, but was there last Thursday evening and Friday as a guest, according to preliminary results of an IU Police Department investigation of the incident.

IU Police Chief Keith Cash said he is still awaiting toxicology results to determine if Macken had ingested alcohol or drugs before he fell unconscious.

Goldsmith said he and his staff are working with leaders of IU's Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association to discuss how they can help make all students aware of the many campus resources available to students who may be demonstrating troubling or problematic behavior, including alcohol and drug abuse.

"We have resources to deal with these problems, and we want to be sure that all our students know how to bring problems to the attention of people who can deal with them," Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith said that as soon as the IUPD investigation of this incident is completed, his office will carefully review all the circumstances of what happened at the fraternity house to determine if any university policies on alcohol and drug use were violated.