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Nov 23, 2013 06:25 AM EST

Auburn Fraternity Suspended Until Jan 2015 over Hazing Allegations

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The Sigma Chi International Fraternity has suspended its chapter at Auburn University pending investigation into hazing allegations. The fraternity will not be allowed to function on campus until January 2015.

According to chapter officer Michael Ciatto, the fraternity is accused of imposing long, late-night study hours on its new members and forcing pledges to run errands for initiated brothers and driving them to class.

"It was after several allegations had been shared with (Auburn University) and the International Fraternity," said Tyler Peterson, the adviser to Auburn's Sigma Gamma chapter of Sigma Chi. "It was based on a concern largely on the part of the International Fraternity that there had certainly been some hazing instances that had taken place," Dothan Eagle reports.

The international organization's board of directors voted to suspend the cahpter after learning about the allegations made against it. The complaint was made earlier this semester through an anonymous hotline.

 "Hazing is hazing," Peterson said. "Some people try to place various labels on it depending on severity."

The brothers living in the Sigma Chi house on Magnolia Avenue have been instructed to vacate the building by Dec. 21.

"We're not going anywhere," said Auburn's Sigma Chi Chapter President T.J. Harlin. "We hope to come back in the future with a lot of local alumni support."

Ciatto said the chapter has not been a subject of any hazing allegations previously.

"Sigma Chi has a zero-tolerance hazing policy and as an international organization are entirely committed to the eradication of hazing. Hazing prevents the development of leadership skills, contradicts our values, and strains brotherly bonds," Ciatto said. "All causes for corrective action previously, while not hazing specific, were adjudicated internally, aligned with our standard of Brotherhood defined by justice and personal responsibility."

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