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5 USC student organizations cited with hazing or alcohol violations in fall semester

FILE: Thirteen of USC’s fraternities have been suspended from recruiting activities after they were reported for violating policies involving alcohol.
FILE: Thirteen of USC’s fraternities have been suspended from recruiting activities after they were reported for violating policies involving alcohol. tglantz@thestate.com

Five student organizations at the University of South Carolina were cited for hazing or alcohol violations in the fall semester, university records show.

The most egregious violation was the Women’s Club lacrosse team, which was suspended until November 2022 for hazing, “rapid alcohol consumption” and “inappropriate activities for new members,” according to university documents.

The other four organizations — one club sport and three fraternities — were also cited for hazing, but were placed on probation in lieu of suspension. According to university documents:

  • The Kappa Alpha Order was placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2018, for requiring new members to engage in “personal servitude.”

  • Delta Kappa Epsilon will be on probation until April 16, 2019, for “personal servitude and inappropriate activities in the new member education experience.”

  • USC’s Club Ice Hockey team will be on probation until May 10, 2019, for forcing new members to “participate in public embarrassing acts.”

  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon will be on probation until May 20, 2020, for hazing and for a fight that took place near the chapter house.

“Hazing allegations are taken very seriously and we began publicizing organizational conduct information in 2012-13, before it was required by law,” USC spokesman Jeff Stensland said in an email. “We require that all student organizations be held to the same high standards and level of accountability, not just fraternities and sororities.”

All South Carolina colleges and universities, with the exception of technical schools, are required to disclose all student conduct violations by fraternities and sororities, according to The Tucker Hipps Transparency Act. The act — named after a 19-year-old Clemson University student who died after his parents say he was forced to walk on a narrow bridge railing during a hazing ritual — passed the Legislature with overwhelming support but is set to expire at the end of the year.

A bill, which has bipartisan support in the House, would make the law permanent.

Fall 2018 semester is the first time club sports teams have appeared on the list of university violations, Stensland said. However, the Women’s Club Lacrosse team is not the first all-female group to be cited for hazing violations. In 2018, Gamma Phi Beta sorority was placed on probation for forced alcohol consumption, university records show.

Overall, USC student organizations received 9 violations, which places them on track to stay well below 2016-2017 academic year, when USC fraternities and sororities racked up a record 28 violations in a year, according to a previous article from The State.

USC encourages anyone who experiences or is aware of hazing to report it by calling the school’s hazing hotline at 803-777-5800.

Lucas Daprile has been covering the University of South Carolina and higher education since March 2018. Before working for The State, he graduated from Ohio University and worked as an investigative reporter at TCPalm in Stuart, FL. There, where he won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his political and environmental coverage.
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