Saturday, March 13, 2010

Indiana ATO's Eliminate 100 in Hazing Investigation

Fraternity Hazing Still Problematic At IU
Alcohol, Other Violations Among Allegations

Rick Hightower - WRTV 6 News Reporter/Anchor

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The decimation of Alpha Tau Omega on the Indiana University campus is the latest of several fraternity troubles at the university.

More than 100 of the chapter's 126 members were suspended by the fraternity's national organization, leaving only 20 remaining members, 6News' Rick Hightower reported.

A member who is still in the fraternity said he felt the chapter had been dealt with unfairly, but that "it happens."

ATO is the latest IU fraternity to come under fire in investigations of hazing and alcohol violations.

Alpha Epsilon Pi was recently suspended for two years because of hazing, which involved sleep deprivation, the incitement of fear, requiring behavior that could cause harm and leaving pledges in remote areas, forcing them to walk back to campus.

Members of that fraternity are barred from participating in campus events under their organization's name, including the upcoming Little 500.

Members of Phi Sigma Kappa have moved into Alpha Epsilon Pi's former house.

"We moved into this house when AE Pi lost their charter. Now, we're in here currently until we can get a spot after that," said Taylor Weis, a Phi Sigma Kappa member. "We were kicked off campus many years ago (after membership declined). Now we're just trying to get a permanent house back again."

Phi Sigma Kappa said members don't partake in hazing.

"We're more about getting the new guys involved with brotherhood and trying to incorporate them and anything we can do to get them involved," said member Riley Mcelwain.

Students said they aren't surprised hazing still happens, and some admitted they've seen its effects.

"I know a couple of guys who are pledges, and they missed class because they were so sleep-deprived," said Emily Rawls, a sorority member. "I think it really starts to affect their academics."

ATO national CEO Wynn Smiley said suspended IU members considered the fraternity "party central."

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