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Nine Fraternity Members Charged in UF Hazing Incident

7:07 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at the University of Florida has been placed on "interim suspension" by the school after nine fraternity members have been charged with hazing.

Hazing is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries up to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail.

The Alachua County State Attorney's Office filed those charges on Monday.

Investigators say the alleged hazing happened in late January when five students were taking part in initiation activities at the fraternity house located off campus.

A sworn complaint details how the students were subject to chest strikes called "thunderslaps." Also investigators say a wood paddle was used to strike prospective members on the buttocks if they failed to answer questions correctly about the fraternity.

The complaint also says students who were injured took photos to document their bruising.

The University of Florida now has two cases involving fraternities and hazing.

Director of Public Affairs, Janine Sikes, says a task force is working on recommendations to get the upper hand on hazing. One idea is creating a website that would detail sanctions that organizations face on campus so parents and students have timely information when making decisions.

"A buyers guide of sorts," is how Sikes described the purpose of the website.

The University of Florida plans to have its hazing plan in place before classes start in August.

First Coast News

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