Fraternity and sorority violations at the University of South Carolina are down 18 percent from the previous academic year, according to disciplinary records.
USC cited eight fraternities and two sororities with 23 violations in the 2017-2018 academic year. That's down from 28 violations the previous year, which had the highest number of violations since at least 2011, the earliest available records. Despite this year's decrease, the 2017-2018 academic year still had the second-highest number of violations since 2011.
The charges were for hazing, alcohol violations and failing to comply with previous sanctions.
USC has 28 fraternities and 19 sororities on its campus, according to its website. Of those, 10 received violations in the 2017-2018 academic year.
"People see increases in infractions and people assume that means there's worse behavior," university spokesman Wes Hickman said. Rather, the reason the infractions are higher than many previous years is because students are more likely to report wrongdoing, Hickman said.
"We really focused on students behavior a lot in the last few years," Hickman said. "Students are starting to stand up and take responsibility for themselves."
Tau Kappa Epsilon, casually referred to as TKE or "teek", was responsible for 39 percent of this year's violations, records show. Its most severe charge was hazing, which included "personal servitude, calisthenics, alcohol, verbal harassment, and inappropriate activities in the new member education experience," according to USC's website where violations are listed.
USC cited the organization with four alcohol violations and three violations of failing to comply with sanctions. Those last three were because it continued to operate as a chapter and threw a party while the chapter was suspended. After that, the suspension was extended by three years.
Other Greek life organizations cited for hazing include: Gamma Phi Beta sorority for forced alcohol consumption; Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity for making pledges to do "personal servitude, calisthenics and inappropriate activities" and Beta Theta Pi fraternity for making pledges engage in "personal servitude, calisthenics, and inappropriate activities."
Gamma Phi Beta, which also received alcohol citations, received a fine and eight months of probation. Multiple members of Phi Sigma Kappa were found to have played a role in both the hazing violation and alcohol violations. The fraternity received 13 months of probation, a suspension, a fine and a review of each member from the fraternity's national organization. Beta Theta Pi was placed on probation for five months.
The following organizations are still suspended from campus until the listed month, according to USC's Greek Life violations site:
- Delta Tau Delta Fraternity – Fall 2018
- Sigma Chi Fraternity – Spring 2019
- Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity – Spring 2020
- Tau Kappa Epsilon – Spring 2022
Those who have knowledge of hazing can make an anonymous report to the university's hazing hotline: 803-777-5800