UConn, Police Investigate Claims Of Hazing Against Sorority & Fraternity
HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A sorority and fraternity at the University of Connecticut are under investigation by both the school and police for alleged hazing.
The Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were temporarily suspended on Monday from all activities on campus pending the outcome of UConn’s investigation.
The allegations stem from an incident on March 6, when UConn sophomore and Kappa Kappa Gamma member Hillary Holt said she was taken to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s off-campus fraternity house and forced to commit humiliating acts, including being told to lie on the floor and pretend to “sizzle like bacon.”
Holt also said she was then pressured to drink alcohol to the point of passing out, 1010 WINS reported. She said she woke up in a hospital and was told her blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the driving limit of 0.08.
UConn’s Office of Community Standards is investigating to determine if anyone violated the honor code, and state police are looking into whether any crimes were committed, said school spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz.
In a letter to the organizations, the school said the interim suspension is not meant to be punitive, but part of the investigative process and used “when information indicates that the presence of your organization on campus could pose a threat to the health and safety of the campus community.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma’s national office issued a statement saying it was working with the university on the investigation and does not tolerate hazing.
Brandon Weghorst, a national spokesman for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said the fraternity has also sent a letter the UConn chapter ordering it to halt all operations while it conducts its own investigation.
“SAE offers its apologies to Miss Holt for any hazing or ordeal that she may have been subjected to, especially in a Sigma Alpha Epsilon house,” he said. “And we apologize if any of our members were responsible for those actions. They are not consistent with our expectations.”
Weghorst noted that the national fraternity last week changed its structure to eliminate the pledging process in an effort to “address some of these issues.”
This isn’t the first time Sigma Alpha Epsilon has faced sanctions at UConn.
The fraternity was placed on probation in 2004 after the alleged theft of some snacks from a local convenience store. It was also given a warning in 2007 for damage caused to a university meeting room. And in 2010, the fraternity was again placed on probation after it was determined that several members riding on its homecoming float were intoxicated and one of them had urinated on another organization’s float.
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