Saturday, January 30, 2010

TCU Kappa Sig Branded at Ski Event

TCU student's branding prompts inquiry by school, fraternity
By MELODY McDONALD


FORT WORTH — Texas Christian University and officials of Kappa Sigma Fraternity are investigating an incident in which a student suffered second- and third-degree burns after being branded on his buttocks during a ski trip.

The student, Amon G. "Chance" Carter IV, will have to undergo plastic surgery to repair the damage.

Carter was injured on the last night of his fraternity’s ski trip at Breckenridge, Colo. He and fellow members of his fraternity, as well as members of the Tri Delta Sorority, had rented a house for the trip.

Carter said that the group drank and got rowdy and that at some point he agreed to allow his fraternity brothers to finish branding the Kappa Sigma letters on his rear end with a hot coat hanger — a brand that was started on a spring break trip more than a year ago.

It was a dumb, drunken decision, Carter said Wednesday.

But his fraternity brothers, Carter said, took things too far. Not only did they complete the brand, they also branded large triangles — the Greek symbol for Tri Delta Sorority — on his other buttock while he was passed out.

"I woke up the next morning and I was in a lot of pain," Carter said. "My whole other butt cheek was destroyed."

Carter said no one will tell him exactly what happened the night of Jan. 8 or who was responsible. He said he has no recollection of the second branding. Carter and his family say they are considering pursuing criminal charges or a lawsuit against those involved. An investigator with the Breckenridge Police Department was trying to contact the Carter family about the incident, an official said.

Carter, 20, a sophomore at TCU, is the great-grandson of Amon G. Carter Sr., a Fort Worth civic leader and founder of the Star-Telegram. His father, Amon Carter III, hired attorney Kathryn Craven to investigate. Craven said her investigation determined that one student was likely the main perpetrator and up to 18 people witnessed the incident.

TCU issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying it has begun an investigation.

"University policy prohibits harming another student, which would obviously include branding," spokeswoman Lisa Albert said.

Mitchell Wilson, executive director for Kappa Sigma Fraternity, based in Charlottesville, Va., said it began an investigation after learning of the incident Wednesday. "We certainly do not tolerate this type of behavior," he said.

Carter said he takes full responsibility for his actions — drinking underage and making a dumb decision.

"People are saying, 'Chance needs to be held accountable,’ Like I haven’t been punished enough.

"This may be the hardest lesson I’ll ever learn in my life."