University of Kentucky takes action against fraternity while two probes underway

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The University of Kentucky suspended “all activities for the Farmhouse Fraternity” while two investigations are conducted into the death of one of its new members, President Eli Capilouto said Tuesday night in a message to campus.

In addition to UK Police, the university’s Office of Student Conduct is investigating the death of Thomas “Lofton” Hazelwood, 18, of Henderson, after he was found unresponsive at the Farmhouse Fraternity, according to Capilouto and Vice President for Student Success Kirsten Turner. Hazelwood likely died of alcohol toxicity, the Fayette County coroner said earlier Tuesday.

“We ... can — and we will — commit to finding out what happened, how it happened and why. We have conveyed to Lofton’s family that we will move as quickly as possible, but also transparently and comprehensively. We won’t speculate or engage in conjecture, but we will find out,” Capilouto and Turner said in the campus statement released by the university.

The fraternity’s focus “needs to remain fixed on understanding what happened and finding answers,” Capilouto and Turner said. The two encouraged those with information about what happened to call UK Police at (859) 323-8477 (TIPS).

When complete, the investigation’s findings will be released publicly “with the necessary redactions to protect the privacy of students,” the leaders pledged.

Hazelwood lived in Lewis Hall. He was an agricultural economics major.

“There aren’t words adequate to convey what so many on our campus feel, the sense of loss and grief, sadness and emptiness,” the statement said. “There just isn’t. Words can’t fill that void, nor will we try.”

The university emphasized that support and help are available for students and groups “impacted by this horrible event.” The counseling center can be reached at (859) 257-8701. Those calling after hours can press 1 from the menu of options to be connected to a clinician. Find out more about services, including drop-in sessions held at locations around campus, at https://www.uky.edu/counselingcenter/.