Second Ole Miss fraternity accused of hazing

Published: Feb. 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM CST
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(WMC-TV) - Ole Miss administrators are investigating a second case of fraternity hazing in recent weeks.

The Sigma Nu fraternity was sanctioned by the student conduct board for hazing.

"If there's a college administrator anywhere who tells you, if he has organizations on his campus or her campus and they don't have hazing, I think they're being a little naive," said Dean of Students Sparky Reardon.

Reardon said student handbooks clearly outline the policies, but believes the fact that issues are surfacing may actually be a good sign.

"In the two incidences that we've most recently dealt with, our students have come forward and that's the only way we're going to combat hazing," Reardon said.

In a statement, Sigma Nu's executive director confirmed that inappropriate actions occurred in late January. He said the group has offered a corrective action plan that was accepted by the student conduct board in addition to two additional sanctions.

Sigma Nu is appealing one of those sanctions.

Auburn Hedgepath is in a sorority and said she hasn't and wouldn't put up with hazing; but like other students, hears hazing tales from her friends.

"I have a good many friends that tell me stories about things that they've put up with and I just think it puts a negative outlook on the whole perspective of even being in a fraternity or sorority," Hedgepath said.

Freshman William Fowler was just initiated into a fraternity and said they have zero tolerance for hazing.

"I wouldn't consider anything hazing. I've talked to some friends of mine from other schools and the things they've had to do is a lot worse than anything we've had to do, nothing extreme," Fowler said.

Neither the university nor the national chapter are able to release specifics about the allegations or sanctions until the appeal is finished.

The appeal process shouldn't last more than a week.

Here is a statement from Sigma Nu:

The University (Dean of Students office) and General Fraternity (national organization of Sigma Nu Fraternity) confirmed recently that inappropriate activities occurred in association with the candidate (pledge) activities of the Epsilon Xi Chapter in late January 2012. These activities were in violation of both the University's and Fraternity's prohibition of hazing.

Over the course of the last three weeks, the General Fraternity and local alumni leaders have worked cooperatively with University officials to learn as much as possible regarding these activities. Chapter members have been completely cooperative with those efforts and have expressed their sincere remorse for the violations that occurred.

Last week, the General Fraternity, local alumni leaders and collegiate chapter leaders presented a corrective plan of action for consideration by the University's Judicial Council. The Judicial Council ratified this corrective plan of action and applied two additional sanctions. The Epsilon Xi Chapter may or may not determine to appeal the additional sanctions.

The corrective plan of action is designed to be educational in nature, to minimize the possibility of any future violations of University or Fraternity policies as they relate to new member (pledge) activities and to make a positive contribution in support of the University's overall anti-hazing efforts. The collegiate chapter members are eager to move forward to complete the plan of action. Alumni leaders and representatives of the General Fraternity will be highly involved in assisting the chapter in implementing the plan of action.

We have every confidence that the student members of our Epsilon Xi Chapter - historically one of Sigma Nu Fraternity's most successful collegiate chapters - will continue to respond effectively to this serious matter in a manner befitting their character, the ideals of our Fraternity and the values of the University of Mississippi.

Sigma Nu Fraternity was founded in 1869 at Virginia Military Institute and today has 177 chapters and colonies in North America. The Epsilon Xi Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity was founded at the University of Mississippi in 1927.


Brad Beacham

Executive Director

Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.

Excelling with Honor

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