ROCK HILL, S.C. -- A Winthrop University fraternity has been suspended for hazing, the college announced Friday afternoon.
The Alpha Phi Alpha chapter is suspended “until further notice,” according to the school. Alpha Phi Alpha is the nation’s first collegiate fraternity for African-American men.
The fraternity cannot use university resources, hold events on campus or reserve any of Winthrop’s space while it is suspended.
Winthrop staff members first learned about the hazing in late December.
The university’s Campus Police Department is “continuing interviews” related to the hazing, according to the news release.
Under state law, hazing includes “unauthorized treatment . . . of a subordinate student of a tyrannical, abusive, shameful, insulting, or humiliating nature.”
When evidence of hazing is found, state law provides for students to be “dismissed, expelled, suspended or punished.”
The Alpha Phi Alpha chapter at Winthrop was “engaging in verbal hazing and other prohibited practices,” university officials said Friday.
A preliminary inquiry has revealed that most of the behavior involved verbal hazing, the school said.
The university said it was still trying to determine who was involved in the hazing.
The Alpha Phi Alpha chapter was established at Winthrop in 1980. The group identifies itself as “The E.L.I.T.E. Xi Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.”
The collegiate fraternity was founded on Dec. 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. The fraternity has more than 35 college chapters and nearly 340 alumni chapters in 45 states, the District of Columbia and worldwide.
Winthrop said no indications have been found that students were injured or that alcohol was involved.