Dartmouth suspends fraternity and sorority amid hazing probe after student found dead in river

Dartmouth has suspended a fraternity and a sorority as a hazing probe gets underway in connection with the death of a student this past weekend.

The Greek life organizations, fraternity Beta Alpha Omega, and Alpha Phi, a sorority, have had their activities paused for the foreseeable future, Jana Barnello, a college spokesperson told The Independent in an email on Tuesday.

The organizations will not be able to participate in Greek life on campus, receive funding or recruit new members. No one, expect those living in the Greek houses, is allowed to enter them.

The suspensions follow the death of Won Jang, a 20-year-old Dartmouth student whose body was pulled from the Connecticut River on Sunday. The medical examiner responded to the incident, but said a preliminary manner of death was not yet available.

Jang was a member of Beta Alpha Omega. It’s believed that an event he attended on Saturday, hosted by both organizations, involved alcohol. The 20-year-old was last seen by friends around 9.30pm at the gathering, which was held at a dock close to Dartmouth College on the river, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reported.

Won Jang, a 20-year-old Dartmouth student, died over the weekend following a Greek life event that involved alcohol. His body was pulled from the Connecticut River on Sunday
Won Jang, a 20-year-old Dartmouth student, died over the weekend following a Greek life event that involved alcohol. His body was pulled from the Connecticut River on Sunday (LinkedIn)

“The entire Dartmouth community is grieving over the tragic loss of Won Jang. Our counseling team has been by the family’s side since yesterday, and Dartmouth is providing every possible support it can to Won’s parents, family and friends,” Barnello wrote. “We are working closely with the Hanover Police Department, which is leading the investigation.”

Hanover Police Chief Charles Dennis told WMUR-TV that his office had received an anonymous tip that hazing played a role in Jang’s death and that authorities were working to investigate the claim. The Independent has contacted the police for more information.

Beta Alpha Omega was on alcohol probation at the time of Jang’s death after being suspended during the fall, winter and spring terms. Alpha Phi was placed on probation in the fall of 2023 but had returned to “good standing”, The Dartmouth, the university’s student newspaper, reported.

The university puts organizations on alcohol probation when they are “found to have improperly served alcohol,” the newspaper wrote. The university may move to suspend an organization for “repeated misconduct, or for misconduct found to be sufficiently serious to warrant stopping all activity for a specified number of terms.”

Jang, an undergraduate student from Middletown, Delaware, was due to graduate in 2026. He worked as a project manager at the DALI Lab, a design program for students to build websites and apps, and as a research assistant at the Thayer School of Engineering.

“Won wholeheartedly embraced opportunities at Dartmouth to pursue his academic and personal passions,” College Dean Scott Brown wrote in an email to students. “He enthusiastically took part in the Dartmouth community.”

Jang is the second Dartmouth student to have been found dead in the Connecticut River this year. In May, authorities found Kexin Cai, 26, dead in the river five days after she went missing.

Officials said that she was last seen in Lebanon, New Hampshire on May 15. Cai was a second-year doctoral student studying psychological and brain sciences.

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