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Purdue again cracks down on hazing

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(Media-Newswire.com) – WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue officials on Thursday ( Dec. 10 ) announced that one campus fraternity has been suspended and two others placed on probation for violating university regulations and Interfraternity Council Risk Management policies.
Phi Delta Theta Fraternity is suspended through Aug. 1, 2010, for hazing and alcohol violations, while Sigma Alpha Epsilon is on probation through the end of new-member education in fall 2010, also for hazing activities, said Pablo Malavenda, associate dean of students. Kappa Sigma is on probation through Jan. 31 for alcohol consumption violations.

The penalties for Phi Delta Theta were more severe because violations involved multiple instances of both hazing and alcohol consumption, he said.

“Each situation involves behavior that can be addressed immediately,” Malavenda said. “Each organization has shown true remorse and has the leadership and support to get beyond this and to emerge a stronger, more values-based organization. The dean of students office is committed to being there for them every step of the way.”

University investigations concluded that Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon conducted hazing activities that included verbal and minor physical abuse of new members. Purdue regulations define hazing as any action that interferes with scholastic activities, creates a substantial risk of physical harm or degrades any person.

The university investigation also concluded that alcohol was provided to new members, members and guests at two unregistered parties in October and to new members at a “Pledge Mom/Pledge Pop Night” in November at Phi Delta Theta.

Phi Delta Theta can petition the Office of the Dean of Students for reinstatement at end of the imposed suspension. If the suspension is lifted, the chapter will remain on probation through May 1, 2011, at which time it can petition for a return to full status.

During the suspension, Phi Delta Theta cannot participate in programs with other recognized student organizations, university sponsored activities or intramural athletics as an organization. The chapter also cannot use university logos, trademarks and name; receive university funding; and will not be eligible for awards through Purdue, regional and national associations or the fraternity’s national headquarters.

A new-member education program review and revision for the Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities will be conducted immediately by the Office of the Dean of Students, the international fraternities and alumni advisory boards. In order for the two fraternities to maintain university recognition, they must abide by terms that include: completing at least two community service or philanthropy projects each semester at a location approved by the Office of the Dean of Students; have 90 percent attendance by active members to any hazing, new membership or alcohol education sponsored by the Purdue Interfraternity Council and Office of the Dean of Students; and 90 percent of Phi Delta Theta’s chapter members must attend a screening for the documentary “HAZE.”

The university’s investigation of Kappa Sigma concluded that alcohol was left by an alumnus visiting the chapter and consumed by new members, and a new member provided alcohol to an underage guest.

Kappa Sigma must: work with international headquarters to establish a plan for the continuous improvement of the social practices and attend a screening of the documentary “HAZE.” No functions with alcohol will be permitted at the chapter facility until after the probation is lifted.

According to university regulations, only sanctions of “suspension” or “withdrawal of recognition” of a student organization can be appealed to the Campus Appeals board. Malavenda said the suspended fraternity has until 5 p.m. Friday ( Jan. 11 ) to appeal the sanction.

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu

Source: Pablo Malavenda, 765-494-1232, pablo@purdue.edu

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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