Winthrop suspends Alpha chapter amid hazing allegations
The Winthrop University chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has been suspended for verbal hazing and other prohibited practices, the school announced Friday.
As a result of the action, the chapter “may not hold events or conduct activities on-campus, reserve (university) space, or utilize any other university resources” until further notice, according to a suspension letter issued to the chapter by Dean of Students Bethany Marlowe.
The school did not release details of the alleged hazing but said the summary suspension would allow time for an investigation. Hazing is a violation of Winthrop’s student conduct code as well as S.C. state law.
School officials first received reports of verbal hazing in late December, Winthrop spokeswoman Rebecca Masters said on the school’s website. So far, she said, no indication of injury or alcohol involvement have been found.
Winthrop police are continuing to investigate.
Under state law, hazing includes “unauthorized treatment by the superior student of a subordinate student of a tyrannical, abusive, shameful, insulting, or humiliating nature.” When an investigation provides “substantial evidence” that a student has committed hazing, the student “may be dismissed, expelled, suspended, or punished,” the law says.
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