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University Of Tennessee Fraternity Being Investigated For Hazing



A fraternity at the University of Tennessee is currently under investigation for allegations of hazing. The investigation is focused on a scavenger hunt which specifically involved photographing Asian students. The fraternity under investigation has not been named.

According to a University of Tennessee spokeswoman, the school received allegations of student misconduct but did not provide further details. UT said no further information could be provided “in order to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation and protect individual student’s FERPA rights.”

Jonathan Thomas, a member of the school’s Asian-American Intervarsity, told WVLT that the complaints stem from fraternity brothers reportedly taking photographs with students of Asian background and described the practice as a sort of scavenger hunt with an undercurrent of racial profiling.

Thomas claims the scavenger hunt happens every year and that younger members are tasked with completing a list of exercises, one of which includes taking a photograph of an Asian student.

You can read the university’s full hazing policy here:

Participation of students in hazing activities is prohibited. “Hazing” means any intentional or reckless act, on or off university property, by one student acting alone or with others, which is directed against any other student and endangers the mental, physical, or emotional health or safety of that student, or which induces or coerces a student to endanger their mental, physical, or emotional health or safety, and includes treatment of a violent, abusive, shameful, insulting, or humiliating nature.

Such action is prohibited when connected with initiation into or affiliation with an organization and does not include participation in customary athletic events or similar competition. A student committing an act of hazing is subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Standards of Conduct.

This is the latest major fraternity or sorority lawsuit, investigation, suspension or closure in the last year, as schools such as Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Texas State, Florida State, Ball State, Louisiana State and Penn State have all suspended fraternities in the wake of hazing and alcohol deaths.

These reports come amidst similar allegations that have been made against fraternities nationwide, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon at East Carolina University, who was shut down for hazing and the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter at the University of Arkansas which has been accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of women without their permission.

In response to incidents like these, fraternities such Phi Kappa Psi have made numerous changes to their code of conduct in an effort to address the issues that have arisen. In addition, schools such as Texas State, West Virginia University, and Penn State University have introduced new Greek Life rules to try and prevent these problems.

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