Fayetteville State University officials are investigating allegations that a campus fraternity has been physically beating students who are trying to join the organization.
FSUâ€™s Student Affairs Office and campus police have received e-mails and calls this week from concerned parents about possible hazing being done at the undergraduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
According to sources familiar with the complaints, fraternity leaders have allegedly used a wooden paddle to repeatedly beat a group of male FSU students. The students are blindfolded and taken off-campus when this occurs, the sources said.
Landon Hadley, the universityâ€™s dean of students, met with several student fraternity members Tuesday afternoon to learn more about the allegations.
Janice Haynie, FSUâ€™s vice chancellor for student affairs, said her office and the campus police are pursuing the matter.
â€œAt this point, all we have are allegations,â€ said Haynie. â€œBut we certainly donâ€™t condone hazing.â€
Jeff Womble, who serves as an adviser to Alpha Phi Alphaâ€™s local chapter and FSUâ€™s director of public relations, declined to comment on the allegations, citing a desire not to compromise the schoolâ€™s inquiry.
â€œThere is an investigation going on, and it would be too premature to comment at this point,â€ he said.
The history of Alpha Phi Alpha is rich within the black community. Founded in 1906 at Cornell University, Alpha Phi Alpha is one of the oldest black fraternal organizations still in existence. Prominent members include civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Olympian Jesse Owens and former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
State law, FSU policy and Alpha Phi Alpha rules all forbid hazing. Students interested in joining fraternities and sororities sign agreements at FSU promising not to engage in the practice.
Staff writer Corey G. Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-4848, ext. 487.