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University of Central Arkansas Cancels Step Show Over Hazing


The University of Central Arkansas has canceled an annual step-dancing show that draws thousands from across the country amid allegations of hazing at the fraternity that organizes the event.

A UCA police report, obtained Tuesday morning by The Associated Press, shows an anonymous caller claimed the Theta Psi chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity engaged in excessive hazing at an event March 31 at an off-campus apartment. The report claims the caller was “afraid of possible retaliation.”

“He advised they were paddling people with boards, punching them, hitting them in the back,” the report reads.

The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity chapter, a social organization for Black students at the Conway university, was set to hold its annual “End of the World Greekshow” April 18. UCA police Lt. Rhonda Swindle said the school canceled the event over the hazing allegations.

Swindle declined to comment about the investigation, but said no arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon. Perry Johnson, vice president of the fraternity chapter, told the AP that he knew nothing about the allegations.

“I just know we’re under investigation,” Johnson said.

Gary Roberts, UCA’s dean of students, said Alpha Phi Alpha had not been subject to disciplinary actions in the recent past.

“I will say that the fraternity has had no problems in recent history and in fact has been a very fine fraternity in terms of UCA and their service to the Conway community,” Roberts said.

The Baltimore-based fraternity issued a statement Tuesday saying it did not condone hazing and would cooperate with university officials and police in their investigations.

In 2007, Conway police say they arrested nearly 100 people after the step-show ended and attendants moved off campus for parties. Last year, officers say the step-show had none of those problems.

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