University at Buffalo student dies after possible hazing incident
Chanintorn.v/iStock(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — A University at Buffalo student who was on life support after a “potential” hazing incident over the weekend died on Wednesday.
The school in western New York delivered the news that 18-year-old Sebastian Serafin-Bazanhad died in a statement.
“I am deeply saddened to share with you that UB freshman Sebastian Serafin-Bazan passed away today,” University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to Sebastian’s family for the devastating heartbreak they are experiencing. We extend our sincerest condolences to the Serafin-Bazan family and to all of Sebastian’s friends here at UB and in his hometown of Port Chester, N.Y. We join them in mourning the tragic loss of a member of our UB family.”
Serafin-Bazanhad was rushed to Buffalo General Hospital after collapsing at Sigma Pi’s fraternity house and placed on life support, according to Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW-TV.
At the time, the Buffalo Police Department referred to the incident as “an incident of potential hazing” in a tweet Friday afternoon.
The incident prompted Tripathi to immediately suspend all Greek life on campus and open an investigation into the incident.
The national chapter of Sigma Pi said on Saturday it was “gathering information and, if necessary, will provide further comment after all facts have been gathered.”
The group reiterated that in a message of condolences after the student’s death Wednesday.
“The entire Sigma Pi family is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Sebastian Serafin-Bazan,” Jonathan Frost, executive director and CEO of Sigma Pi Fraternity & Foundation, said in a statement. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to Sebastian’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time. We remain in communication with the Buffalo Police Department and University officials, and have offered our support for their ongoing investigation. We will be initiating an internal investigation and review once the police have concluded their fact-finding.”
Authorities are still awaiting autopsy results to determine how Serafin-Bazanhad died.
Tripathi urged students to speak to someone if needed: “If you are struggling, please know that our university counselors are here to provide you support in the aftermath of this terrible loss. As we grieve Sebastian’s passing today and well beyond, it is my hope that each of us pauses to remind ourselves that we can only uphold our humanity by treating each other with dignity, compassion and kindness.”
A Sigma Pi student at Ohio University died after an alleged hazing incident in November. The family of that student, Collin Wiant, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sigma Pi and another 10 unnamed individuals in February.
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