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Hazing News

Berkeley 4-26-05

Tuesday, April 26

The UC Berkeley fraternity accused in a BB-gun hazing incident has been temporarily suspended by the university pending further investigation.

Members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity have been implicated in the alleged April 8 BB-gun assault on a 19-ye ar-old fraternity pledge at the intersection of Channing Way and Prospect Street. The pledge was reportedly shot at least 30 times, and required attention at a local emergency room. UC officials are investigating whether the alleged assault took place dur ing a hazing of the fraternity pledge. Hazing is prohibited at UC Berkeley.

UC officials say that the interim suspension bars members from the fraternity from engaging in any fraternity activities. The chapter house remains open, but can only be used for residential purposes.

A hearing on any permanent sanctions against the fraternity will be held by the campus Student Judicial Affairs office, but no date for that hearing has yet been set.

Janet Gilmore in the UC Berkeley Media Relations office said sh e had no estimate on how long the interim suspension would be in effect. “It could be weeks or months, depending on what happens with the investigation,” she said.

In addition to sanctions against the fraternity itself, individual fraternity members accused in the alleged hazing assault also face possible individual disciplinary charges by the Student Judicial Affairs office, as well as possible criminal charges currently being investigated by Berkeley police.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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