Friday, January 28, 2011

DKE's Accused of Hazing Rituals

Fraternity loses status over hazing

By the Canadian Press

EDMONTON - A fraternity accused of hazing rituals that included forcing would-be members to eat their vomit has been suspended for five years.

The suspension means Delta Kappa Epsilon won’t be able to associate itself with the University of Alberta in any way. It will not be allowed to rent any university space or equipment, display its insignia or participate in any school government activities. The frat house’s liquor and gaming rights have also been revoked.

“Hazing activity is strictly prohibited at the University of Alberta,” Frank Robinson, dean of students, said Thursday.

“I’ve suspended the DKE fraternity today as a student group for a period of five years. During the period of suspension they will be ineligible to register as a student group at the university,” he said.

“The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity are no longer allowed to officially identify themselves as or carry on activities as if they are associated with the University of Alberta in any manner.”

The university announced an investigation in October after the school’s student newspaper reported allegations that recruits were swarmed, yelled at, called names, deprived of sleep and threatened with violence. It was alleged that pledges had to spend time in a wooden box and eat their own vomit.

The fraternity’s parent organization also suspended it for three years after a committee of four alumni visited in November. The committee recommended the suspension and said Delta Kappa Epsilon International would appoint an alumni council to oversee all of the local chapter’s affairs.

Robinson said the fraternity admitted during the investigation that hazing took place over a number of years and involved current students and alumni.

Rory Tighe, a vice-president with the students union, said the episode had cast a “negative shadow” on all campus fraternities. He hopes they can put that behind them now.

“Now they’ll have the opportunity to showcase all the great things they do for the community.”

Robinson said the DKE’s members are to meet with the university regularly during their suspension period.

“I have reason to believe that this group will want to come back better, stronger, faster. We’ve had some positive discussions.”

The fraternity released a statement on its website shortly after the decision was announced in which it apologized for the hazings.

The fraternity can apply to have the suspension lifted after three years if it can prove that changes have been made.No individual member has been charged.

“We agree that hazing has no place at the University of Alberta or in fraternity life, and we, the Delta Phi chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, apologize to the international fraternity, the University of Alberta, the university community, and the other fraternities at the university,” the statement said.