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Investigation into exact reasons for Tyler Cross death may have stalled under veil of silence– Sigma Alpha Epsilon, University of Texas

Moderator: Tyler’s death has been under investigation but NO formal hazing charges were levied. On another site, a member said the tragic fall has no connection to the SAE fraternity.

I will update as more information becomes available. However, the investigation into the cause of Cross’s fall really seems to have stalled since May 2007.
A wall of silence at SAE concerning Hell Week death: was pledging connected to death–no one is talking, according to news reports.

Before that, at least one member had announced there was no link between pledging and Jason’s fall.

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The Office of the Dean of Students put UT’s SAE chapter on suspension for hazing in 2004 (two years before Jason’s death), and SAE regained its active status.
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Another excerpt:

SAE under scrutiny
By Robert Kleeman

The UT chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity is being investigated for hazing in connection with the death of Tyler Cross, a freshman pledge of the fraternity who died in November, said Travis County Attorney David Escamilla.The 18-year-old Georgia native died on Nov. 17, 2006, after falling from a fifth-story balcony at the University Towers dormitory. Cross died from “blunt-force injuries” but also had a blood alcohol level of .19 at the time of the fall, according to an autopsy and toxicology report.A Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission spokeswoman said in February the agency is investigating why the UT lacrosse player consumed more than twice the legal limit of alcohol and how he obtained it. SAE fraternity members have declined multiple requests for comment, and Tim Samp, director of risk management for the fraternity’s national chapter, said a brief in-house investigation turned up little pertinent information.Samp repeatedly denied suggestions Cross was either hazed or the victim of alcohol poisoning. Both Escamilla and TABC said they took possible hazing into consideration when their investigations began on the day of Cross’ death.

“I’m not sure why people are so surprised,” Escamilla said. “Whenever there is a death that raises suspicion hazing was involved, we will investigate it as such.”

He said his office is scrutinizing the fraternity’s initiation process for the entire fall 2006 semester. He said a similarly conducted investigation led to 21 indictments of three former Lambda Phi Epsilon members in December 2006 on charges of hazing and supplying alcohol to a minor who died from alcohol poisoning on Dec. 10, 2005.

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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