A state judge has approved a $250,000 settlement between Clemson University and the family of a student who died during a fraternity pledge run nearly three years ago.
Clemson on Thursday announced its settlement with the family of Tucker Hipps, a 19-year-old sophomore who was found dead underneath a bridge over Lake Hartwell in September 2014. The Oconee County Coroner’ Office said his injuries were consistent with a fall from the bridge, which investigators believe occurred during a run with other pledge members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. However, other fraternity members have given different accounts of what happened.
Court records show the deal was approved earlier this month, but Clemson made it public by releasing a statement Thursday. “Before Tucker’s death, Clemson had begun instituting changes to its policies regarding its Greek system to improve the experience for our students,” the unattributed email stated. “After Tucker’s death, the University accelerated its efforts and made additional substantial changes to its Greek system… As a result of these changes, the 2016-2017 academic year saw a substantial decrease in major charges and violations of the Student Code of Conduct by fraternity members.” [Read more…]