Oakes’ Family Meets Outside Richmond Frat House 1 Year After Adam Death

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The family of 19-year-old Adam Oakes, who died as a result of a hazing one year ago, met to remember the VCU student Sunday.

The Oakes family held a small ceremony outside of the fraternity house where Oaks died from alcohol intoxication after a weekend fraternity party.

Eleven members of the Delta Chi fraternity have been charged with misdemeanor hazing since Oakes’ death.

The student’s family has been pushing for changes to state law to make hazing a felony and change the way colleges handle hazing incidents.

While a final version of the bill is being debated, lawmakers have already passed a separate bill known as Adam’s Law, which requires fraternities and sororities to undergo hazing prevention training.

“The research we’ve realized that there’s actually been hundreds of hazing deaths — 10 in Virginia. Adam is the latest in Virginia,” Courtney White, Adam’s cousin, said. “Just doing the research and finding out this is a large-scale issue than what we ever knew and has really attributed to us pioneering and going out there and getting the word out and trying to make changes at all our local universities.”

We feel the changes we’re making, and hopefully the state will make, will help protect students and it will help protect another person from dying through hazing. And also families from having to endure what we’ve gone through for the past year,” Adam’s father, Eric Oakes, said.

On Monday the Virginia House and Senate will officially recognize Adam Oakes and his family’s efforts to prevent future tragedies.


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