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Nathan Valencia's death calls for changes in UNLV fraternities and sororities

Posted at 5:37 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 20:38:51-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Six months after a UNLV student's tragic death in the wake of a charity boxing match, the university is making recommendations for change.

A newly shared report from UNLV detailed what student organizations like fraternities and the university as a whole, should do differently. The main takeaways from the report are a need for better communication, accountability, and oversight.

FULL COVERAGE: Full coverage of fraternity fundraiser 'fight night' that led to UNLV student's death

Furthermore, many in the community believe it should not have taken a tragedy to figure that out.

After Nathan Valencia died in late November from injuries he got during Kappa Sigma's fight night, many questions were asked. There were questions about safety, health screenings before the fight, why there were no emergency medical personnel at the event, and whether the referee was properly trained.

UNLV said they brought in a company to examine safety and the well-being and management at events put on by registered student organizations.

The report made 20 recommendations, such as:

  • Required training for fraternities and sororities in safety, emergency procedures, risk management and event management.
  • A registration process for off-campus events.
  • Creating new positions and adding faculty and advisory roles to oversee Greek life.
  • Better communicating about expectations.

Specifically, the review found some issues with the Kappa Sigma fight night. The "participant contract" waiver that both fighters had to sign was from the national fraternity, and not UNLV. The forms also required a notary, but the review team found that they were never notarized.

The review also found that there was little to no oversight of fraternity and sorority chapter off-campus events.

Student organization leaders are currently allowed to enter contracts with off-campus venues, and UNLV advisers and staff do not have to be made aware of the events, or the related agreements.

In the wake of Valencia's death, as we've reported, there were some other changes made regarding amateur boxing events.

The Nevada Athletic Commission expanded its oversight of amateur boxing. Fight organizers are now required to have emergency medical personnel on site.

The commission is now also requiring trained referees.

No criminal charges were filed in Valencia's death but there is an ongoing civil lawsuit. A motion to dismiss that case filed by some of the defendants is scheduled to be heard in court next week.

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