Friends and family of a 19-year-old
Armando Villa, who just finished his first year at CSUN, had gone on hike in the Angeles National Forest with some of his Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers; he was found by a park ranger barefoot, dehydrated and with blistered feet. Doctors pronounced him dead a short time later at a hospital. Final autopsy results are pending.
"We're not going to sit quiet. We want justice," said Maria Castaneda, Villa's aunt.
The fraternity is also investigating alleged violations of the organization's hazing and risk management policy, according to a statement released last week.
"Hazing has no place in our fraternity," said Chief Executive Mark E. Timmes. "Should the student chapter or individual members be found in violation of Pi Kappa Phi's standards of conduct through our discipline process, they will be held accountable by the national fraternity."
"We want what he set out to do to happen. We want hazing to stop," said Villa's father, whose name is also Armando Villa.
Friends and family said Villa had not been allowed to bring his cellphone or shoes on the hike, and he and other pledge brothers on the trip were sent out on the trail with very little water.
At the protest, held at Zelzah Avenue and Nordhoff Street near the Cal State Northridge campus, people held signs reading, "No shoes, no water" and "Hazed: Forced, Bruised, Judged. They said it was tradition."
Villa's stepfather, Joseph Serrato, said he didn't know the extent of what Villa would go through when joining a fraternity.
"I knew it wasn't supposed to be easy, but I never thought it'd be dangerous," he said.
Villa's funeral will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Forest Lawn in Glendale.