LSU Suspends Fraternity Over Hazing, Kidnap and Assault of Member During ‘Hell Week’

Louisiana State University suspended the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity after an investigation into hazing and other allegations, including the kidnap and assault of a member.

A copy of the letter sent to the fraternity by the university’s Division of Student Affairs says it will suspend the fraternity chapter through May 31, 2023. The fraternity was found “responsible” for charges including coercive behavior, endangerment and hazing.

The university found that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter “engaged in ‘Hell Week’ during 2017-2020″ in which fraternity pledges underwent “various levels of personal servitude,” including buying food, cleaning members’ homes and cars and running errands. Pledges were also forced to eat condiments, among other actions, according to the letter.

But the letter, dated March 24, also said that on Oct. 18, 2020, a group “as part of their initiation process, kidnapped and assaulted an active member.”

The fraternity “violated the policies of coercive behavior, endangerment, and hazing,” said the letter, signed by Kyrsti Wyatt, assistant director of the university’s Student Advocacy and Accountability Office.

“It should be noted that the LSU Sigma Alpha Epsilon student leadership and members continually provided false and misleading information to police and [Student Advocacy and Accountability],” the letter added.

The fraternity will be barred from sponsoring or participating in activities on or off-campus and soliciting and initiating new members. The fraternity will also be under a two-year disciplinary probation period from June 1, 2023, through May 31, 2025.

The fraternity’s national organization said it has suspended the chapter “for violations of SAE’s health and safety policies.”

“Sigma Alpha Epsilon does not condone any behavior that creates a dangerous environment for our members, the fraternity and sorority community, or the campus,” the organization said.

Louisiana state law requires violations of hazing policies to prompt an automatic suspension, The Advocate reported.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was also suspended in 2012 after reports of hazing, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct, according to the outlet.

USA Today

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