EDUCATION

California State University, Northridge, finds hazing in fraternity hike that killed student

  • California State University, Northridge, CSUN president Dr. Dianne Harrison, right, holds a report regarding Pi Kappa Phi fraternity hazing activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, during a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. CSUN President Harrison released the results Friday of an investigation into the July death of 19-year-old Armando Villa, who passed out during a hike with Pi Kappa Phi pledges in the Angeles National Forest. Illegal hazing was involved in a fraternity hike that killed a freshman. Harrison said there wasn't enough water during the 18-mile hike. At left, CSUN Police Chief, Anne Glavin. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

    California State University, Northridge, CSUN president Dr. Dianne Harrison, right, holds a report regarding Pi Kappa Phi fraternity hazing activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, during a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. CSUN President Harrison released the results Friday of an investigation into the July death of 19-year-old Armando Villa, who passed out during a hike with Pi Kappa Phi pledges in the Angeles National Forest. Illegal hazing was involved in a fraternity hike that killed a freshman. Harrison said there wasn't enough water during the 18-mile hike. At left, CSUN Police Chief, Anne Glavin. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)  (The Associated Press)

  • Family members of late Armando Villa, from left: Joshua Castaneda, his mother Martha Castaneda, and aunt, Maria Castaneda react in prayer, as California State University, Northridge CSUN president Dr. Dianne Harrison, not seen, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, during a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Villa died during a fraternity-sponsored hike in the Angeles National Forest. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

    Family members of late Armando Villa, from left: Joshua Castaneda, his mother Martha Castaneda, and aunt, Maria Castaneda react in prayer, as California State University, Northridge CSUN president Dr. Dianne Harrison, not seen, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, during a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Villa died during a fraternity-sponsored hike in the Angeles National Forest. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes  (The Associated Press)

  • Family members of late Armando Villa, from left: Joshua Castaneda, his mother Martha Castaneda, and aunt, Maria Castaneda react as California State University, Northridge, CSUN president Dr. Dianne Harrison, not seen, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, during a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Villa died during a fraternity-sponsored hike in the Angeles National Forest. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

    Family members of late Armando Villa, from left: Joshua Castaneda, his mother Martha Castaneda, and aunt, Maria Castaneda react as California State University, Northridge, CSUN president Dr. Dianne Harrison, not seen, reads a statement regarding Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity activities that lead to the death of CSUN student Armando Villa, during a news conference at the CSUN campus in Northridge, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Villa died during a fraternity-sponsored hike in the Angeles National Forest. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)  (The Associated Press)

Hazing was involved in the death of a California State University, Northridge, student who collapsed during an 18-mile fraternity pledge hike, the school's president announced Friday.

Pi Kappa Phi, the fraternity that held the hike, has agreed to close its chapter, a criminal investigation is underway, and after that will come school reviews that could result in some students being disciplined or possibly expelled, CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said.

Armando Villa, 19, who had just completed his freshman year, died last month after he passed out during a hike with other Pi Kappa Phi pledges in the Angeles National Forest.

"They had water — and not enough water," Harrison said. "The pledges wore really cheap, flimsy shoes. Some of them, including Armando's, were not the right size. And then you go on an 18-mile hike."

An investigation commissioned by the university determined that fraternity members engaged in hazing in violation of school ethics and student conduct codes, the president said.

"Hazing is stupid, senseless, dangerous and against the law in California," Harrison said in a statement. "It is a vestige of a toxic way of thinking in which it was somehow OK to degrade, humiliate and potentially harm others."

Villa's parents issued a statement saying they're pleased the fraternity chapter is closing.

"Hazing is an awful practice. It cost our son his life. And it ought to be banned across the country," said Betty and Joseph Serrato, Villa's mother and stepfather. "No one else should suffer because of this barbaric ritual that endangers and ridicules others just for the enjoyment of immature young men."