Miami University of Ohio Disciplines 3 Fraternities Over Allegations of HazingBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
Miami University in Ohio (MUO) disciplined three fraternities over allegations of hazing practices including forced binge drinking and labor past the point of exhaustion.
The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported obtaining university records outlining the suspension of two fraternities this past summer. A third fraternity was placed on probation.
"We're improving and we're being proactive," Zach Scheid, president of the MUO Interfraternity Council, told The Journal-News. "Yes, we lost three chapters. But, I take pride in that. We're showing that we don't stand for that kind of behavior."
MUO suspended its Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Nu chapters for four and three years, respectively, due to allegations related to hazing. Jayne Brownell, MUO's vice president for student affairs, told The Cincinnati Enquirer the school "will never tolerate hazing."
The Miami Student learned Phi Kappa Psi members were accused of capturing and sharing "inappropriate" photos of someone without the individual's consent. Sigma Nu was investigated for forcing pledges to drink 100 beers and marking on their bodies with markers how many they finished. MUO suspended the fraternity through March of 2018, The Student learned.
MUO placed Kappa Sigma on probation amid allegations its members forced pledges to wake up before dawn to workout to the point of exhaustion, as well as clean other members' rooms and buy them food, The Enquirer reported.
The school conducted its investigations toward the end of the spring semester and the fraternities reportedly lost appeals on the punishment decisions over the summer break.
Emily Pualwan, the director of HazingPrevention.Org, told The Journal-News it is important to crack down hard on allegations of hazing, as it is so widely outlawed and often practiced in secret.
"It's a little bit of a slippery slope," she said. "We've learned that many of these activities, most of which are certainly not sanctioned, they're done in secret and many times they're done under the influence of alcohol. You just don't know what's going to happen if you go down that path."