Dartmouth fraternity cited for several hazing allegations
HANOVER — A Dartmouth College investigation into hazing allegations has resulted in probation for fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
In a letter to the Dartmouth community on Friday, April Thompson, Associate Dean of the College for Campus Life, said that the Organizational Adjudication Committee panel had found SAE responsible for engaging in hazing and disorderly conduct in 2009 and for providing alcohol to underage students in 2009 and 2011.
“Consistent with the specific behaviors involved and the OAC sanctioning guidelines, the OAC imposed a three-term probationary period and an extensive series of educational requirements on SAE,” Thompson wrote.
"These requirements include the adoption of a three-year new member education plan approved by the Greek Letter Organizations Societies (GLOS) Director, the establishment of an advisory board to assist in developing and overseeing the implementation of the new member education process, campus-wide educational programming, new provisions in the house alcohol management plan, and consultation with SAE at the national level about the outcome of this process.”
The hazing allegations were brought forward by former SAE member Andrew Lohse earlier this year.
Lohse accounts of hazing at the fraternity included accounts of pledges being asked to swim in fouled water.
Thompson wrote in her letter the claims were unfounded. “The OAC did not find a preponderance of evidence that SAE engaged in the most egregious of the allegations detailed in the report, and did not find a preponderance of evidence that SAE hazed new members in 2011.”
The letter said, “The OAC concluded that SAE had violated the hazing and alcohol policies in 2009. Specifically, SAE admitted that in 2009 it drove blindfolded students off-campus, expected students to drink shots of saltwater or alcohol, expected students to run in formal dress from the golf course to the house while brothers heckled them from cars, and expected new members to enter a splash pool filled with food. The OAC found these behaviors to be in violation of the college's hazing policy. The OAC also found that SAE violated the college alcohol policy when it allowed underage students access to alcohol during the new member activities.
Initially 27 members of SAE were charged with hazing when the Dartmouth College Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office began the investigation, but those individual charges were dropped.
The results of its investigation were handed over to the OCA for review, according to the college.
Thompson wrote, SAE has committed to work with the college, SAE at the national level and an advisory board to build on improvements already made to the 2011 new member education process.
“Should SAE fail to meet these expectations within the time frames established, or if any further violations occur, SAE could be suspended or have its recognition revoked,” Thompson wrote. “Hazing is strictly prohibited at Dartmouth by both college policy and New Hampshire law, but we would be naive to say it does not occur. We know it does, which is why, when confronted with allegations, we will immediately investigate and take appropriate action.”
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