Klink said the review would propose new ways to ensure that Greek organizations follow “our values” and be held accountable when they do not.
“In light of Adam’s death and our commitment to a safe and healthy campus, this review will make recommendations about how Greek organizations meet the high expectations we have for them,” Klink said in the statement. “Simply put, this cannot happen again.”
University officials did not immediately respond to questions about the review.
Richmond police and the university have said little about how the 19-year-old from Sterling, Va., died, but Oakes’s family said he had attended a rush event for the Delta Chi fraternity at an off-campus house on Friday night.
Family members said partygoers told them Oakes had been drinking and was later found unresponsive on a couch Saturday morning. Police were called to the home shortly after 9:15 a.m. Saturday, and Oakes was pronounced dead at the scene.
Before announcing the broader review, VCU suspended the Delta Chi chapter over the weekend, as did the national organization of the fraternity. The local chapter had previously been suspended by VCU in 2018 for failing to comply with university policies.
Klink said in his Tuesday statement that the university is working closely with the Richmond police on the investigation into Oakes’s death and said the probe would examine whether Delta Chi played any role in it. He said the university will take additional action at the conclusion of the police investigation.
“While eager for answers, we must allow time for the investigation to proceed,” Klink said.
VCU’s Greek system has 1,500 students in 40 fraternities and sororities, according to its website. Some students have been circulating a petition calling for the expulsion of Delta Chi after Oakes’s death.
Richmond police said Tuesday that they had no update on the investigation into Oakes’s death. The state medical examiner’s office, which performed an autopsy Monday on Oakes, said the results were still pending Wednesday.
Courtney White, a cousin of Oakes, said the medical examiner told the family that it was awaiting the results of toxicology tests before announcing results of the autopsy. She said the medical examiner had ruled out that Oakes’s death was caused by head trauma.
White said previously that some partygoers had told the family that Oakes tripped and hit his head on a tree while blindfolded during Friday’s party, where he was scheduled to meet the fraternity brother who would guide him through Greek life.
Police and the university officials have declined to comment on that account. The Washington Post has been unable to reach people who attended the party.
White said she was pleased to hear that VCU was going to review Greek life but said the university must do more.
“I think it was a great first step. Am I satisfied? No,” White said. “Years ago this should have been done. I appreciate the words. I need to see the action.”
An online vigil for Oakes was being held Wednesday, and a memorial was set up in Monroe Park in Richmond.