Hazing Rate Up; Two Fraternities Punished

As of mid-October, 10 fraternities had been accused of hazing pledges this fall — the most reported cases since 2005.

Aaron Bachenheimer, director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement, said that of those accused, two — Alpha Tau Omega and Phi Delta Theta — were charged with hazing by the Interfraternity Council.

In September, Alpha Tau Omega pledges were invited to a “special dinner” — a dinner that they ended up wearing, as brothers hurled spaghetti at them and then ordered them to clean up. The fraternity received four weeks of probation and two weeks of deferred probation, which comes into effect if the fraternity commits another social infraction during that time.

After a Kappa Alpha brother tweeted “45 bottles of champagne. 14 pledges, #mynight” on his personal Twitter account, the fraternity was charged with violating the common source alcohol state law, which prohibits the use of common source containers — such as kegs and coolers — at events sponsored by student organizations.

Bachenheimer said, “Both Phi Delta Theta and Kappa Alpha received two weeks of deferred probation — Phi Delta Theta for shaving four pledges’ heads and Kappa Alpha for violating alcohol regulations.” The Kappa Alpha violation does not come under hazing rules.

Bachenheimer said efforts in recent few years have helped ease the process for reporting alleged hazing episodes and could account for the rise in hazing reports. The Fraternity and Sorority Life website has added a Hazing Hotline, which lets anyone — rush, pledge, friend or parent — report alleged hazing incidents anonymously.

Four fraternities, whose names were not released, were cleared of hazing charges following investigations.

The verdicts against three other unidentified fraternities still were undetermined, with two cases pending.

Bachenheimer stressed that hazing is a problem that extends beyond Greek life to other campus organizations across the country. He said incidents as small as spaghetti dinners gone awry can inculcate a culture that accepts more serious hazing. He called for the campus community to pull together to end hazing at Carolina.

“It’s about trying to change the culture and the environment,” he said, “so that those kinds of [incidents] don’t happen now or in the future.”

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