Deputies Investigate Sorority Hazing Allegations [INCIDENT REPORT ATTACHED]

By: Lanetra Bennett
March 21, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - There are new details tonight in a developing story we first told you about last month.

An investigative report reveals what a tipster says led to the suspension of sorority sisters at FAMU.

FAMU student Michael Young-Harris says, "You know the Salem Witch trials? We say this is the Hazing trials, because if anything happens with anybody, an organization can be suspended like that."

FAMU administrators did put Delta Sigma Theta on inactive status last month.

We have now obtained the incident report from the Leon County Sheriff's Office with the details of what led to that status and the suspension of several sorority members.

The report says 21-year-old Inita Knox lost consciousness during an orientation meeting on February 5th.

Someone anonymously reported that about 30 pledeges were at the meeting and had to memorize information about the sorority, all 55 pledges' names, majors, and hometowns, and when they did not know the information, the members made the pledges do squats for long periods of time.

The report says the tipster claims sorority pledge president, Jacoria Borders, did not want to call law enforcement after Knox passed out.

But, according to the report, Knox told investigators she faints sometimes for no reason because of her heart murmur and denied she was hazed.

The investigative report says the the alleged incident happened at Delaney Park Apartments at Southwood. It says it's the apartment home of one of the sorority pledges.

Marissa West, FAMU's student body president at the time, is listed as a suspect. But, the report says West denied claims she was there.

West has since resigned from SGA.

Because most of the pledges denied being hazed that night, deputies say based on their review, no laws were violated.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office has released the Incident Report for the Hazing Investigation of FAMU Sorority Delta Sigma Theta.

WCTV will bring you more information tonight on Eyewitness News.

By: Lanetra Bennett
March 6, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Members of Delta Sigma Theta at FAMU have been suspended from the university.

This is the same sorority that was put on inactive status last month for hazing allegations.

Several students at FAMU have been suspended because of hazing allegations.

The university's interim president, Dr. Larry Robinson, won't say exactly how many students and who they are. However, he does confirm that they are members of FAMU'S Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.

The organization was put on inactive status back on February 6th when the incident was first reported.

FAMU Student Alexandria Beverly says, "I don't think as a whole, the sorority should be suspended. But, I think those that were a part of it should definitely face the consequences of their actions."

School officials say the incident involving the Deltas was reported on the university's anti-hazing website.

Details of the off-campus incident have not been released.

Dr. Robinson says, "There's nothing about demeaning a person that has anything to do with being a legitimate member of an organization on this campus. There's nothing about physical harm to an individual has anything to do with an organization on this campus. Our tolerance for such behavior is zero."

He adds, "This is a very unfortunate set of circumstance that none of us would have liked to have seen. But, on the other hand, it shows that our students are more likely to come forward. That's one of the messages that we want everybody to hear, that this is unacceptable behavior."

Dr. Robinson says the students have five days to appeal their suspension if they chose.

He says if the students do not appeal or if there's a recommendation made to the contrary, the students' suspensions would be for five years.

Delta Sigma Theta is still on inactive status.

FAMU has suspended several students on allegations of hazing. FAMU Interim-President Dr. Larry Robinson has released a statement today on hazing.

WCTV is working on this story and will bring you more information tonight on Eyewitness News.

Statement from Dr. Larry Robinson, interim president for Florida A&M University:

This is a very unfortunate situation. We applaud and continue to encourage those students who are coming forward to report incidents of hazing. We remain vigilant in our efforts to make it clear that hazing is a serious issue and we have a zero tolerance policy toward it.

Larry Robinson, Ph.D. Interim President of Florida A&M University

By: Garin Flowers
February 7, 2013 5:51pm

Famu has put another student organization on suspension after hazing allegations. Officials are now investigating what all took place.

School officials are saying another organization is facing an investigation after someone reported an act of hazing.

Officials say that organization is the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.

The school did not specify what exactly occurred but said a student reported a hazing incident on their anti-hazing university website. Once again, we reached out to deltas national headquarters and have not heard back.

As for on campus we spoke to an official who works solely to combat hazing at Florida A & M.

FAMU says they have several policies in place to prevent hazing. That includes a hotline and website where people can report incidents of hazing.

By: Garin Flowers
February 7, 2013 5:37pm

Another student organization at FAMU is catching heat for an alleged hazing incident.

They were put on inactive status yesterday.

In a release, FAMU officials says it's because of an alleged hazing incident reported on the university's anti-hazing website.

WCTV left a message with the Delta Sigma Theta national headquarters and have not been able to reach the local graduate chapter, but we will continue to reach out for more information about what happened.

FAMU says they have put in several measures in place to tackle hazing.

FAMU Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida A&M University (FAMU) has placed the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on “Inactive Status” Wednesday until an investigation is completed in reference to an alleged hazing report. The incident was reported on the university’s anti-hazing website.

“We believe that all of the measures that we have put in place have increased overall campus awareness of hazing,” said Bryan Smith, assistant to the president for anti-hazing. “We will investigate this complaint as with any that is brought to our attention. Once this investigation is completed, the inactive status may be lifted or if warranted, additional sanctions may incur.”

The university has made sweeping changes to enhance its efforts to promote a zero tolerance for hazing. The university created the position of special assistant to the president for anti-hazing, to track all complaints and ensure the complaints are fully investigated and resolved. The university also strengthened membership intake processes for clubs and organizations and increased awareness of anti-hazing policy and initiatives.

Other measures include the creation of two new positions in the Division of Student Affairs - a director of judicial affairs and a coordinator of judicial affairs - to provide additional support and oversight. A new anti-hazing website, which was use to report this incident, also serves as a resource for information and an avenue for students to seek help and report hazing.

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