Hazing News

Two decades of hazing incidents at the University of Florida: Moderator

Here is the story link

Gainesville Sun Excerpt: The task force met Monday, just days after UF police filed a sworn complaint against 10 members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity for allegedly hazing pledges. The website and online form are steps that can be quickly taken to address the problem of hazing, said Bernard Mair, associate provost and task force chairman.

“We hope that these measures, although they’re easily implemented, demonstrate to students that we’re really serious about hazing and we view hazing as a serious offense that we don’t take lightly,” he said.

UF formed the task force in December 2011 in the wake of a Florida A&M University student’s death allegedly due to hazing. After the group’s first meeting, the allegations against Alpha Phi Alpha and another hazing accusation involving a second, unidentified UF fraternity were reported to university police. [Moderator: Note that published problems regarding paddling and physical abuse with Florida’s Alpha chapter go back to 1999.]

Mair said the website will provide “full disclosure” of hazing violations for students looking to join groups and [infor for] their parents. The website is planned to include charges found to be valid, sanctions against the group and their status as a result of the violations as well as their current status.

It hasn’t been decided how far back the history of violations should go, but it could be five or 10 years based on what the university has on file, said Chris Loschiavo, UF’s director of student conduct and conflict resolution. The information would permanently be placed online, he said.

Here are some in my files over the years with citation from Lexis-Nexis: Moderator


–“Calling fraternities a “secret cult” often operating “inside a veil of secrecy,” University of Florida President John Lombardi warned fraternity leaders they cannot continue on a path of alcohol abuse and hazing without crumbling. “We want fraternities and sororities at the University of Florida, so if they collapse it will not be for lack of institutional support,” Lombardi said Thursday. The university this year has seen the suspension of five fraternities following alcohol, hazing and sexual misconduct violations.” St. Petersburg Times, July 23, 199

–“University of Florida officials have had enough of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity’s rule breaking. The chapter is suspended through spring 2011, punishment for its fourth hazing and alcohol incident in the past seven years. UF first suspended the Pikes in the fall, amid reports that three women, one of them a 17-year-old high school student, were drugged at a party in the chapter’s house. Prosecutors later dropped charges against the fraternity, but UF officials found evidence of drinking and hazing.” St. Petersburg Times, March 27, 2007.

If that article about Pi Kappa Alpha sounds familiar, it may because it is a tune played years earlier–Moderator.

“Signaling a crackdown on hazing and underage alcohol abuse, the University of Florida has kicked another fraternity off campus – the fourth to be suspended in the past year. UF’s Pi Kappa Alpha chapter was suspended for one year after university administrators learned that a pledge nearly died Feb. 18 from drinking a liter of rum in about 25 minutes. Judicial Affairs Dean John Dalton said the unidentified student was hospitalized for two days after his blood alcohol level reached a lethal 0.43. The student fell and hit his head so hard that emergency care was needed. “That was the scariest part,” Dalton said. “No one tried to stop the guy. Thank God he fell and hit his head so he had to go to the hospital. Had he not, he might not be here.” Yet five weeks later, on March 28, seven to eight pledges were stripped down to jockstraps and placed in the middle of a room as fraternity members threw ice water, sand and garbage at them. For the next several hours, the pledges were blindfolded, given food that made them vomit and forced to do situps and push-ups to the point of exhaustion. “It was very degrading,” Dalton said. “I find no civility whatsoever in what they did.” Pi Kappa Alpha’s suspension comes a month after the 73-year-old Delta Chi chapter at UF was suspended through Spring 2003 for alcohol and illicit sex violations committed during a videotaped party that featured two hired strippers. Six students and an exotic dancer were charged criminally in connection with the initiation party. In other incidents, UF’s Chi Phi chapter was suspended in fall 1998 for alcohol violations, and Pi Lambda Phi was suspended for the same the summer before. Alpha Phi Alpha, which does not have an on-campus fraternity house, was suspended in February for alcohol violations and hazing that included paddling pledges. In Thursday’s decision, Dean of Students Julie Sina said that the 93-year-old Pi Kappa Alpha chapter would serve a one-year suspension followed by two years of supervision by national representatives from the organization. Sina’s punishment closely mirrors the recommendation of a three-member judicial committee that includes two students. The fraternity, usually called the “Pikes,” has a history of conduct violations. St. Petersburg Times, May 21, 1999.

University of Florida suspends Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter for at least two years, citing chronic discipline problems; history of physical and psychological abuses of pledges detailed  Miami Herald, December 10, 1993

Incidents prior to 1990 involving the University of Florida: See Broken Pledges by Hank Nuwer (Longstreet Press, 1990): Appendix.


Here are the memebers of the University’s Anti-Hazing Task Force and links to their three past meetings.

Committee Members:

Dr. Michael Bowie
Assistant Director

Jack Causseaux
Associate Director for Sorority and Fraternity Affairs
Greek Life

Dr. Wayne Griffin
Associate Director
Counseling Ctr.

David Kratzer
Interim VP for Student Affairs
Student Affairs

Clay Mathews
Grad Assistant
Student Affairs

Dr. Jen Day Shaw
Dean of Students
Dean of Students

Lynda Tealer
Sr. Associate Athletics Director
Athletic Association

David Bowles
Recreational Sports

Dr. Nancy Chrystal-Green
Student Services

Amy Hass
General Council

Bernard Mair, Chair
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs
Provost Office
235 Tigert Hall

Anthony Reynolds
Student Body President
Student Government

Jamal Sowell
Special Assistant to the President
President’s Office

LTC Charles Werner
Professor of Military Science

Agenda and Minutes:




By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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