CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A popular fraternity on UNC Charlotte's campus is shut down after several reports of hazing.
According to a report obtained by NBC Charlotte, the hazing took place during "Hell Week." UNCC says SigEp members hazed at least nine of its incoming members or pledges.
NBC Charlotte spent hours getting details after details, demanding information to be released. UNCC confirmed what it says happened behind closed doors.
Some of the hazing reports include the following:
- Psychological abuse, shock or discomfort
- Morally degrading or humiliating games or activities
- Implied, coerced or forced consumption of alcohol and food
- Implied, coerced or forced physical activity or physical activity that is not part of the group/organization mission.
In a statement, the school says "The Dean of Students Office can confirm that there was an anonymous report of hazing reported in April. Report was investigated in May. The fraternity was suspended for hazing and failure to comply."
Sigma Phi Epsilon nationals released the following statement:
Following a review of the North Carolina Nu Chapter’s membership in 2011, SigEp Fraternity staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to support the chapter leadership and create clear expectations for safe and healthy operation.
All SigEp chapters and members are expected to meet the basic expectations of the law and their host institution’s student code of conduct. When a chapter fails to meet minimum expectations and is unwilling to work with Fraternity and university partners to align the chapter with the Fraternity’s values, we have no other option but to withdraw the chapter’s charter.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte administration recently conducted an investigation of violations of university policies by the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter. The Fraternity staff and volunteers cooperated fully with university administrators and support their decision to suspend the chapter. Based on the findings of that investigation, the National Board of Directors will vote to withdraw the charter and close the chapter.
This follows the hazing death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza, a Beta Theta Pi pledge at Penn State, who died after falling down basement steps during a night of binge drinking. That case is still ongoing in the court system.
The Defenders checked and over the past several months, there have been other fraternities and sororities under review following allegations of hazing at UNCC.
According to UNCC during the 2016-2017 school year, there was a total of six investigations -- three of which lead to no charges but three others are still pending.
NBC Charlotte checked with an attorney for legal analysis.
“UNCC's policy on hazing is a fairly easy one to meet and appears to incorporate a subjective standard,” said College Discipline Lawyer Kimberly Lau. “So it does not strike me as surprising that the fraternity opted to enter into a voluntary agreement with the university as opposed to taking their chances at a hearing where the outcome could have inevitably been much harsher.”
UNCC has kicked SigEp off campus for the next four years with the suspension scheduled to end in August 2021.
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