Fraternity under fire for hazing

Published 5:38 pm Friday, September 20, 2013

On the night of Tuesday Sept. 10, police responded to a call about a young man in need of assistance on Shellhorn Road. Earlier that night, six of his fraternity brothers had picked him up, driven him about three miles from campus, pelted him with eggs and dirt, tied him to a tree, and left him there to find his own way home.

At the scene of the incident, Troy University police found rope, eggshells, coconut milk, sour mix, and what appeared to be tobacco spit, according to Troy University Police Chief John McCall.

The student is a pledging member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. The six students who hazed him were full members of the fraternity. The fraternity has since been suspended by the university and national fraternity, which means no social functions.

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The six fraternity members involved face possible disciplinary action by the university and some have been kicked out of Pi Kappa Phi.

The university student didn’t alert Troy Police to his treatment, according to Troy Police Lt. Bryan Weed. He only asked for a ride back to the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house, so no police report was filed with the Troy Police Department.

Nevertheless, Lt. Bryan Weed condemned the actions by the fraternity members. “Everybody knows it happens, but the community and the police can’t condone it,” Weed said. “You can’t turn a blind eye to stuff like that, no matter how long it has been going on.”

Weed also warned that what might seem like harmless fun can quickly escalate into something more serious. “It doesn’t take but a second for something to go too far,” Weed said. “If you don’t do anything, the next thing you know, someone could really get hurt.”

Troy University is taking the hazing very seriously, something University Police Chief John McCall stressed.

“We have an anti-hazing policy at the university,” McCall said. “The university will enforce it to the fullest extent. In recent years, some universities have had students die in hazing incidents.”

McCall was referring to the hazing incident at Florida A&M University in 2011 where student died as a result of hazing carried out by the university marching band.

Though the students who participated in the hazing will face possible punishment from the university, it is not likely that they will face criminal charges.

“Since the victim was not injured in the incident, any criminal charges would be a misdemeanor and would have to be pressed by the victim,” McCall said. “The victim has indicated that he does not wish to press charges.”

Dean of Students Herb Reeves and the university’s Office of Student Involvement could not be reached for comment Friday.