UM fraternity's charter revoked after investigation of hazing

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was on probation over alcohol

October 24, 2004|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,SUN STAFF

A troubled fraternity at the University of Maryland, College Park had its national charter revoked last week and its members were ordered to leave their house on Fraternity Row by Friday because of hazing and underage-drinking incidents.

Members of the university's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter were suspended from the fraternity after a member filed a complaint with the university's Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life that triggered an investigation into hazing allegations, the Diamondback student newspaper reported Friday.

"The national organization conducted their own investigation and removed the charter, and once they removed the charter, the university then worked with the national to try and identify what would happen from there," Matt Supple, UM's assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, said yesterday.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which has been recognized by the university since 1943, has had a string of problems, most notably the death of member Alexander Klochkoff, who was found unconscious on the fraternity's porch in September 2001.

The fraternity was placed on a four-year probation in April for alcohol violations and destruction of property. Violations in 2000 and 2001 also resulted in periods of probation with the warning that further violations would result in revocation of university recognition.

According to a report compiled by the university's Department of Judicial Programs, pledges reported being hazed this fall in "lineups" during which they were brought into dark rooms with music blaring, where 15 to 20 fraternity members shouted at them, shoved them, and required them to assume various physically demanding positions.

The university has an anti-hazing policy. Students found guilty are subject to suspension or expulsion from the university and, in the case of student groups, denial of recognition from the university. State law also prohibits hazing.

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