UConn sorority hazing: Is ban too much or too little punishment?

UConn sorority hazing: Kappa Kappa Gamma was banned from the UConn campus after a sorority hazing incident in which a pledge was forced to drink too much alcohol.

A sorority banned from the University of Connecticut for hazing is calling that punishment extreme and says it is considering an appeal.

Elizabeth Baily, the national vice president of Kappa Kappa Gamma, said that removing an entire chapter from campus "for the poor decisions made by a few individuals at an unsanctioned event is wrong." Bailey said in an email that the sorority will respond to UConn after final exams, which end Friday, to allow the students in the local chapter to focus on academics.

The school revoked the sorority's registration and recognition Wednesday and ordered it out of its campus house by May 15 after finding it hazed members in March.

"UConn has zero tolerance for hazing and all similarly harmful behaviors, and repeatedly makes those expectations clear to all student leaders in Greek life and other organizations," school spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said in an email.

Kappa Kappa Gamma has until May 14 to file its appeal. If the punishment is upheld, it may re-apply as a student organization in four years.

"Kappa views the punishment as extreme and plans to discuss an appeal with the chapter's leadership before the university's deadline," Baily said.

UConn sophomore and Kappa Kappa Gamma member Hillary Holt says she was taken to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon's off-campus house on March 6 and forced to commit humiliating acts, including being told to lie on the floor and pretend to "sizzle like bacon." She said she was then pressured to drink alcohol to the point of passing out.

Holt said she woke up in a hospital and was told her blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08.

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, where the hazing allegedly took place, is expected to learn its fate following a review meeting next week.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has other problems facing it, reports AZCentral.com:

Arizona State University revoked recognition of SAE in June after a member turned up at the emergency room with a blood-alcohol level nearly six times the legal limit for driving. The action meant the fraternity couldn't recruit members on campus or hold meetings or fundraisers on university property. The national fraternity has also since suspended the local chapter. By then, the ex-ASU fraternity had a notorious reputation. Rolling Stone magazine named it the Most-out-of-Control Fraternity in America in August.

Bloomberg News reported that at least 10 deaths have been linked to hazing, alcohol or drugs at SAE events since 2006. SAE has a zero-tolerance policy toward hazing and eliminated pledging in March. It has 241 groups and 15,000 undergraduate members nationally, according to its website.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.