In November, we reported on the removal of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity at the University of Michigan for alleged hazing. Now, an investigation into those allegations has found that active members of the fraternity did a “40-yard dash” run on the backs of the pledges.
According to MLive, the specific details of Alpha Sigma Phi’s hazing methods were uncovered by police after an anonymous tipster turned over text messages and emails that implicated the fraternity.
The messages reportedly included expressions of surprise and regret after a student suffered an apparent injury that may have been serious during the hazing.
At this time, it is not clear which student was injured and what had happened to him.
MLive was able to view the texts and emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.
They [the messages] ranged from one member describing it as a “freak accident,” to another asking “How is seriously injuring these kids a good idea for bringing them together(?)” police records show.
While the incident resulted in no criminal charges, Alpha Sigma Phi was removed from the university and UM’s Interfraternity Council for a minimum of five calendar years on Nov. 7, after an investigation discovered members took part in forced alcohol consumption and violent physical hazing. One fraternity member described the apparent injury as being “within the boundaries of hell week.”
“We had people run our backs during our hell week,” the member said in a group message. “That doesn’t mean it’s a tradition or a (good) idea, but it means (it’s) become normalized by us.”
However, while the fraternity was removed from campus, the Ann Arbor police department was forced to drop the case because the alleged victim was uncooperative and his parents claimed that their son was not injured.
The removal of Alpha Sigma Phi at the University of Michigan is the latest major Greek life suspension, expulsion, disaffiliation, or overhaul 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 for various reasons.
Fraternities have been suspended or expelled across the nation as Greek life organizations and universities attempt to grapple with the pitfalls of hazing, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual assault.
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 or expelled fraternities for various reasons.