Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

UA Fraternities Accused of Hazing; Pledge Activities Ended

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

UA Fraternities Accused of Hazing; Pledge Activities Ended

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | The University of Alabama on Thursday canceled all Interfraternity Council pledge activities after an investigation of numerous hazing allegations involving several fraternities.

"Pledgeship is over for this year," UA's vice president for student affairs, Mark Nelson, told reporters during a late afternoon news conference. "Those that can initiate new members are asked to do so now."

During the past week, the university's hazing hotline received seven calls about specific alleged incidents involving Phi Gamma Delta, Chi Phi, Sigma Nu, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi and Zeta Beta Tau. After investigating, Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Nu, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi and Zeta Beta Tau have been cleared by the college's Greek Affairs and Judicial Affairs councils, Nelson said in a prepared statement. The university also received a complaint about Theta Chi, and an investigation into that complaint will begin immediately.

As a result of the investigations, one former member and two active members of Pi Kappa Alpha have been issued interim suspensions and may not attend class or participate in university activities until a decision is made by Judicial Affairs on whether they can be reinstated and return to campus. The three suspended students reportedly were engaging pledges in a form of exercise known as bows and toes, in which a student rests the weight of his body on his elbows and toes. Nelson said there were allegations that the three fraternity members were requiring pledges to rest their elbows and toes on bottle caps and broken glass.

UA junior Jake Morrow, rush chairman for Delta Kappa Epsilon, said he had not heard that bottle caps and glass were involved, but he said the response to the alleged hazing incidents was "ridiculous."

"Everyone exercises. I exercise, football players do exercises. For that to be considered hazing is absurd," he said. "You hear hazing rumors all the time ... but hazing can be anywhere from doing bows and toes on bottle caps to having someone do your laundry."

UA has also revoked Pi Kappa Alpha's student organization seating for the rest of the football season. …

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