Twenty Texas State students were arrested for allegedly hazing fraternity pledges, according to a report by KXAN.
The pledge class of Sigma Nu fraternity was allegedly hazed with the help of female students, the majority of which were members of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. The females allegedly applied blindfolds to the pledges, took them to a garage on Craddock Avenue, told them to strip to their underwear, sit on the floor and drink alcoholic beverages.
According to the Oct. 13 KXAN report, the university police department has arrested 10 fraternity and 10 sorority members over the course of the last two weeks for hazing incidents.
Mark Hendricks, director of the University News Service, said he couldn’t comment since the investigation is ongoing.
Lindsey Hendrix, Panhellenic president, called the alleged hazing arrests a “rumor” prior to the KXAN report at approximately 4:30 p.m. Oct. 13.
John Husband, president of Sigma Nu, refused comment.
On Oct. 14 Fred Dobry, director of risk reduction for Sigma Nu, issued a press release stating the fraternity was aware of the allegations of criminal activity and would continue to work with the university to investigate the claims.
Brad Beacham, executive director of Sigma Nu, was quoted in the release as saying the fraternity was dedicated to developing ethical leaders for society, and was concerned about the reports from the Texas State chapter.
“Once the investigation of these allegations is complete, the fraternity will respond accordingly, in consultation and partnership with Texas State officials,” Beacham said in the press release.
The arrests come on the heels of a Sept. 20 campus-wide hazing memorandum sent by the administration threatening denial of degree, suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary actions for individuals who engage in hazing.
The university’s Sept. 20 “Hazing Memorandum” email includes potential disciplinary actions for individuals involved in hazing. These actions include disciplinary warnings or probation, withholding grades, official transcript or degrees, or reinstitution. Other actions include being forbidden from re-admission, dropping from current enrollment or mandated participation in education programs. The university could suspend the individual’s rights and privileges, suspend or expel them, and revoke or deny their degrees.
Hazing has been illegal in Texas since 1987, and is considered a criminal offense. The law defines hazing as an act endangering the mental or physical health or safety of an individual who is pledging or being initiated into an organization.
Hazing includes the consumption of a food or liquid that subjects the individual to “unreasonable” risk or harm. It includes any action, such as extreme mental stress, shame or humiliation that may pressure a student to leave the organization rather than continue with the acts.