May 23, 2014 11:57 AM EDT
University of Tennessee Suspends Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity On Charges of Hazing
The University of Tennessee (UT) has suspended its chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity after its students admitted to hazing.
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According to WBIR.com, the school's investigation began with a complaint from a parent and the hazing allegations involved hitting pledges with a paddle as well as pouring hot sauce on their genitals.
While considered a campus organization before the suspension, UT's Alpha Phi Alpha chapter did not have a house their and its official membership was less than ten. The school will no longer recognize their Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity chapter as an official organization until Aug. 2016.
During the investigation, UT barred the fraternity from accepting any new members, but there were still at least 12 trying to do so, who all denied hazing was taking place. Of those 12, two later went back on their denial and admitted to the hazing.
"A folder containing historical facts, a hand written letter, and a pair of men's underwear was delivered to the Dean of Student's Office," read the UT Notice of Charges, a university document detailing the events causing the fraternity's suspension. "The letter advised that an element of the hazing involved pouring hot sauce on the young men's genitals and that the underwear was hot sauce stained."
Several colleges and universities across the nation have cracked down on hazing after more and more allegations make their way into the news.
For example, the University of Connecticut banned its Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority for forcing pledges to drink alcohol to the point of passing out as well as other allegations. Bloomberg News released an investigative report on Sigma Alpha Epsilon earlier this year, which dubbed the national fraternity as the "deadliest in America."
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Across the nation, at least 10 people have died at SAE-related events since 2006, leading the national organization to eliminate pledging. SAE's decision was not popular with local chapters, but it joined about 75 other fraternities in ending the controversial entry ceremony.