Sigma Chi members caught hazing removed from frat

Published 9:05 pm Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The seven members of Troy Sigma Chi that were found to be involved in a hazing incident last week are no longer a part of the fraternity.

“One of the first things that occurred when we identified doing the initial investigation, not only from the university perspective but from the national fraternity, they were expelled from the organization – forever,” said Herbert Reeves, dean of student services.

Although Troy University officials have suspended the fraternity and confirmed that the members involved will be disciplined, the university has not revealed what the hazing entailed or what those disciplinary actions will be, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

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Reeves said that none of the eight hazing victims were injured to the extent of needing medical attention during the incident, which took place off campus.

“If it had not come forward, it could have gotten a lot worse,” Reeves said. “I’d rather be having this conversation than talking about a hazing incident gone bad where we’ve dealt with the death of a student as has happened across the nation in the past few years.”

The university became aware of the incident after being contacted by the parent of a student.

Members of the national fraternity have been working alongside the university during the investigation.

“Sigma Chi International Fraternity has been working collaboratively with Troy University administration,” said Sigma Chi Executive Director Michael Church in a statement Wednesday. “We are supportive of the actions they have taken and appreciate the partnership approach. We are nearing the end of our own investigation and will look to supplement the response with an appropriate plan to help the chapter best exemplify Sigma Chi’s high standards in the future.”

While under suspension, the fraternity is barred from holding events or participating in campus activities.

The chapter must complete community service and education on hazing prevention and will be reevaluated at the end of the semester before the suspension will be lifted. The result of the investigation comes on national anti-hazing week.

“We expect our Greek organizations to set a high standard of leadership for the entire campus community, and we will not tolerate hazing of any kind,” said Dr. John Schmidt, senior vice chancellor for student services.

Sigma Chi alumni need to play a role in helping to ensure any hazing culture is eliminated at the chapter, Reeves said.

Local attorney Joel Williams, who founded the Troy chapter of Sigma Chi, said the incident does not align with the fraternity’s mission and that Sigma Chi alumni have “closed ranks and fixed the problem.”

“We have a strong practice and policy and history against hazing,” Williams said. “This was an isolated incident. We were founded trying to be different from other fraternities and we implemented a strict anti-hazing policy; this is very, very unusual.”

Reeves said he hopes the suspension and disciplinary action sends a strong message to all campus fraternities and sororities that hazing will not be tolerated.