PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Family Files Lawsuit Against Penn State, Phi Sigma Kappa For Negligence Prior To Son’s Suicide

More than a year after the Penn State Altoona fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa was suspended for hazing that may have contributed to a member’s suicide, the victim’s father is now suing Penn State and Phi Sigma Kappa, as first reported by Reuters.

Marquise Braham, an 18-year old student at Penn State Altoona at the time of his death, jumped off the roof of the Marriott Long Island Hotel last year. After the events, his family found disturbing pictures and conversations from the fraternity Braham was pledging. In believing the hazing contributed to his son’s death, Braham’s father, Rich Braham, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Penn State, Phi Sigma Kappa, two advisers, and two fraternity leaders.

“In my family’s opinion, both Penn State and Phi Sigma Kappa severely damaged our son, both physically and mentally, with hazing activities, and even worse, sought to allegedly cover it up by destroying evidence,” Braham said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, Braham and his pledge class were forced to “consume gross amounts of alcohol” and mouthwash, swallow live fish, kill, gut, and skin squirrels, and choose between snorting a line of cocaine or being sodomized on video. The pledge class was also forced to fight each other while sleep deprived for 89 hours and held at gunpoint.

Braham was not only impacted by his own hazing, however. As a new member of the fraternity, Braham and his pledge class had to watch the next class be hazed, something he admitted to a friend was “hard to watch,” according to the lawsuit. The suit also said that Braham went to Catholic confession a few hours before his death to “confess his fraternity’s sins.”

The lawsuit alleges that Penn State knew Braham was suffering but decided to ignore the situation. Braham’s father also claimed in the lawsuit that two of his son’s advisers were made aware of his hazing-induced breakdown prior to his suicide.

“Our allegations, based on strong investigative research and evidence we have uncovered, are that Marquise’s resident assistant and resident director in his dormitory, both employees of Penn State University, knew he was in desperate trouble,” said Mike Paul, a spokesman for the Braham family.

The lawsuit hopes to make gains for students attending all colleges and universities across the country.

“We aim to hold Penn State, and hopefully other universities, accountable to provide accurate information to students and their parents about the dangerous misconduct they know is occurring within Greek life on campus,” Rich Braham said. “That would be an incredible and fitting legacy to Marquise.”

About the Author

Jacob Abrams

Jacob Abrams is a sophomore from Oxford, PA, majoring in Management in the Smeal College of Business. Jacob is the President/GM of The LION 90.7 FM along with being a play-by-play commentator and sports talk show host. He is a sports fanatic, and strongly supports the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, and the New Orleans Saints. He is a first-generation Penn Stater, and in his free time he likes to play sports and sing. You can follow him on Twitter @jake_abrams and contact him at [email protected]


More by Jacob

Penn State Baseball Takes One Of Three Against Maryland In Weekend Series

Penn State needed a rebound performance at home as it played host to Big Ten rival Maryland for a three-game series this weekend, but it didn’t go as planned.

Christian Hackenberg Selected No. 51 Overall By The New York Jets In The 2016 NFL Draft

Penn State Baseball Falls To Kent State 6-2 At Home


Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions won’t play a single home match in September, electing to test themselves against teams like Stanford and Oregon early in the season.

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force

Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

Student Life

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Road And Utility Work Impacting Penn State This Summer

Where Do Penn Staters Move After Graduation?

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Predicting Penn State’s 2018 Kickoff Times

As the Nittany Lions have ascended back into college football’s elite, they’ve taken the field at night more often in the past few years and avoided the dreaded early kickoff.

We Are Royalty: Meghan Markle Is A Penn State Fan

Penn State fans are everywhere, even in the British royal family.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Send this to a friend