The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Parents of dead students seek answers

e 2006-07 school year are trying to hold SMU accountable in different ways.

Six months after their son was found dead in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, Jacob Stiles’ parents are still waiting for answers from SMU officials. The Daily Campus published their pleas in an online article on smudailycampus.com on June 7.

In a release sent to this paper and other Dallas and Chicago area media, the family says SMU has not shared any information regarding leads in the case.

After the article was published and other media outlets published similar stories, the Stiles family said no one from the school gotten in contact with the family regarding the questions they had.

“We know what Jacob did, and we aren’t blaming the school for his actions,” Stiles’ father said in a follow-up interview. “But there are still things that need to be looked at.”

The Stiles cite text messages received on Jacob’s cell phone that suggest their son may have been supplied the drugs from a fraternity brother.

Jacob’s father, Tom, said some of the messages include references to “snow” use at the SAE house on the night of Dec. 1, 2006. Jacob was found dead in his room the afternoon of Dec. 2. The cause of his death was a lethal cocktail of expensive prescription pain killer fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol, according to a report from the Dallas County Medical Examiner.

One message specifically indicates, according to the father, the provider of the lethal drugs. He believes Jacob may not have known what drug he was taking, citing a text message that refers to a different drug name.

The family said SMU Police had the cell phone for one month and had reviewed the messages as early as Dec. 5.

“Now we know that the drug that killed our son may have been supplied by a member of the fraternity, and SMU seems to refuse to do anything about it,” Tom Stiles said in the written statement.

SMU Executive Director of Public Affairs Patti LaSalle said that the university would forward any questions about the investigation to SMU Police.

“Obviously each allegation will be looked into,” she said, adding that the school is still deeply saddened by his death.

Since Jacob’s death, the family said they have been informed of drug use by the SAE’s.

He claims that hazing was a part of the fraternity’s initiation, “random drugging of pledges’ drinks” was a common practice and the fraternity’s drug dealer and location are well-known.

“It soon became evident that the University and fraternity officials, including a representative from the chapter’s national headquarters, wanted to close the book on the incident,” Tom Stiles said.

The family also said that no one has been held accountable for the death of their son.

At this point no fraternity member has been publicly disciplined by SMU and the chapter has not subject to any actions by the university.

Stiles was the first of three drug-related deaths at SMU this year. He was a sophomore from Naperville, Ill., which is a suburb of Chicago.

The father of Meaghan Bosch went before cameras in early June and was more blunt in his criticism of school officials.

“The administration is either unwilling or has been incapable of addressing this issue, and we urge the administration of the university to radically change their approach to this problem,” Joseph Bosch said at a June 5 news conference held at Dallas Police headquarters.

He specifically mentioned the Greek system as a group with drug issues.

“Drugs are woven into the Greek system and the social fabric of the university,” he said.

Bosch was the third SMU student to die during the 2006/07 school year.

The Texas Rangers, who are assisting in the investigation into Bosch’s death, said she died from an accidental overdoes of cocaine, methamphetamine and oxycodone. Oxycodone is used as a respiratory depressant, but can be addictive.

No progress has been made in the investigation into Bosch’s death according to a check with investigators.

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