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Middle Tennessee State University and Sigma Nu

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Rutherford County has issued a court order to Sigma Nu national headquarters for documents pertaining to the investigation on claims of hazing at the MTSU chapter.

“Depending on the information the headquarters can provide to us, this will affect whether criminal charges will be filled,” said Buddy Peaster, MTSU police chief.

According to Peaster, the investigation conducted by the national office was able to obtain the specifics of the hazing incidents and both the names of the perpetrators and victims.

“Typically, many times private companies or non-profit organizations need a judicial order to release information because some records might not necessarily fall under the open records act,” Peaster said.

The incident of hazing has become a focus to both university administration and state law to be viewed as criminal acts, Peaster said.

“We feel like this is a responsibility,” Peaster said. “Have there been any criminal acts, we will review them. We will have conversations with the victims, and depending on their interests and takes on following up, we will work with the victims to have a final resolution in criminal court.

Concerning the revocation of the Theta Iota charter, both the chapter and the university are working to reverse the national decision.

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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