More students are encouraged to come forward with any complaints of fraternity or sorority hazing abuses if Miami University is going end such abuse, a school attorney said.
That call came after a student at a now-suspended Miami University fraternity reported to Miami that he was blindfolded, forced to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana, beaten with a spiked paddle and kicked in an alleged hazing.
The accusations of hazing on March 16 against Miami’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity house led to last Friday’s suspension of the fraternity and a condemnation from Miami’s president.
But Miami attorney Robin Parker noted in the same incident report “ultimately, bringing an end to hazing will take the efforts of the students themselves and will depend in large part on their willingness to come forward, tell the truth and take a stand against hazing.
“The university is committed to promptly investigating this report. However, anonymous reports are extremely difficult to investigate. We encourage all students to participate and cooperate in the investigation.”
According to the incident report the student filed with the university and obtained through a Journal-News public records request, a student pledge of Delta Tau Delta claimed to university officials the alleged abuse “occurred during a hazing ritual at the university during a mandatory event.”
The student, whom neither Miami nor Oxford police are naming, claimed he suffered “paddling leading to bruising and cuts with a paddle with spikes and grooves hitting me 15 times on the buttocks.”
He told school officials of “being blindfolded and told I could not leave even when I requested. Being forced to drink large amounts of alcohol and (smoke) marijuana. Other harassing and abusive behaviors such as spitting in face and kicking me.”
According to the student, the alleged incident occurred at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house at 220 Tallawanda Road in Oxford near the Miami campus.
The incident report filed by the student also says, “I was blindfolded alongside 24 other pledges and we all waited in a room for about 1.5 hours while very scary music was playing.”
What follows in the report was redacted by university officials to protect the privacy of students or not revealed for investigatory purposes, officials said.
“After that all of the pledges were taken to different rooms to receive their ‘big brother.”
Redacted information is then followed by “I then met my big brother and he explained” followed by more redaction. “At that point I was very intoxicated, and they hit me more and more with wooden paddles,” the report said.
“(I) told (redacted) within 5 minutes of being there ‘call 911 I feel like I’m going to die.’”
“The emergency squad showed up and took me on a stretcher … the … ambulance where I then spent roughly 7 hours in the hospital with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .231 and was released at approximately 7:15 a.m. Sunday (March 17) morning,” wrote the student.
“The contents of this report are brutal and deplorable and have brought us to a tipping point on this campus,” Miami University President Gregory Crawford said in a letter to the college community, our media partner WCPO-TV reported Friday.
Crawford added he was “disheartened and outraged” by the behavior outlined in the complaint.
Oxford police said they have also opened an investigation into the alleged hazing incident.
Miami spokesperson Claire Wagner said Monday the school is on spring break and fraternity members have until next Monday move out of the house.
On Friday, Jack Kreman, the chief executive of Delta Tau Delta, based in Fishers, Indiana, said the organization suspended its Oxford chapter following reports of hazing.
“Hazing has no place within Delta Tau Delta,” Kreman stated in a release, WCPO reported. “The fraternity has no tolerance for such behavior, and those involved will be held accountable.”
On Thursday, sophomores living in the fraternity house are being moved into residence halls as the university finalizes its investigation, said Crawford, who asked university leaders to review the allegations in the context of the larger Greek community and to make recommendations that could be implemented across all fraternities and sororities.
“Nothing is off limits in this evaluation,” he said.
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