UNF fraternity investigated for alleged hazing incident

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- An alleged case of hazing within a fraternity at the University of North Florida has sparked a police investigation. According to campus police reports, a pledge wanting to become a member of the fraternity Sigma Chi, took things a step too far.

The report details what a pledge allegedly thought was a 'cool' thing to do. It shows that while going through the membership process he reportedly asked a member of the fraternity to brand him using a wire hanger and lighter.

UNF Freshman, Molly Culver says she's heard one too many horror stories in the news about the pledge process.

"They're not my thing I would probably never join one," said Culver. "But there are good fraternities and frats out there."

She was surprised to hear that on her campus, a fraternity is under investigation for their involvement in an alleged hazing incident.

First Coast News obtained a report from the UNF Police Department filed in December of 2013. The Vice President of Student and International Affairs made them aware of the allegation of hazing, by the Sigma Chi Fraternity, specifically the Kappa Beta Chapter.

An anonymous witness told police a fraternity brother was asked by a pledge to brand him and the fraternity brother in turn "heated a wire hanger with a torch, or lighter and branded the pledge."

It states that the pledge "eagerly volunteered" and actually "talked (the young man) into branding him on the butt."

"I think it's horrible," said Culver. "I think it's wrong to do that."

The University released this statement:

"This student issue involving the Sigma Chi fraternity was immediately investigated by the University of North Florida Police Department, and no criminal activity was determined. The student issue was then sent to UNF Student Conduct, which reviewed the student issue during a hearing this week. Student sanctions, which are protected under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), will be forthcoming." - Sharon Ashton, UNF Vice President of Public Relations.

"I don't think I'm very surprised," said UNF student Jeffery Secure. "That's one of the reasons I'm not made for the deal."

'I don't think it's cool," said Culver. "It's just weird to me."

The report shows that the branding victim had only minor bruises on his buttocks.


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