University of South Alabama Suspends Fraternity, Investigates Hazing

MOBILE, Ala.

The University of South Alabama has suspended its chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity after some students were apparently injured during a hazing incident.

Dr. Tim Beard, USA’s dean of students, says the school is still investigating what happened, but says some students appeared to have been injured.

“There is evidence of some injuries here, we don’t know to what extent,” Beard says.

A regional leader of the fraternity’s national organization issued a “cease and desist” letter last week to the Eta Nu chapter.

The letter cites suspected violations of national rules barring hazing, local deviations from prescribed initiation procedures and “paddling, stroking and all indecent acts.”

Maynard Odom of Mobile, an alumnus who advised the chapter, says the university is investigating hazing that might have taken place over a period of several months.

Beard says USA officials met with hospitalized chapter member last week to determine if he was injured as a result of hazing. Odom said doctors told him in a visit that the student was suffering from the flu and dehydration.

Beard says school officials are struggling to get chapter members to talk.

Emily Ulmer, USA’s adviser to fraternities and sororities, says the chapter had 18 members.

The chapter has been ordered to vacate the house on Old Shell Road that it leases from the university. Odom says no chapter members were living at the house at the time of the order. Kappa Alpha Psi is the only historically Black fraternity or sorority at USA with its own house.

The chapter could be expelled from campus or suspended for a time. In the past 20 years, USA has suspended a number of fraternities for a year or more, for offenses usually related to hazing or brawls.

Individual students could also face sanctions. College disciplinary actions, because of federal privacy rules, are usually kept secret unless a student allows them to be released.

Associated Press



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