By: Julie Montanaro
January 31, 2014, 8:15pm
Response from Sigma Chi International:
The Sigma Chi International Fraternity’s Executive Committee was made aware of the charges filed against four members of its Epsilon Zeta chapter at Florida State University late Friday morning. In response, the committee moved quickly to suspend the chapter. The chapter will have a 45-day window to appeal the Executive Committee’s decision and is invited to show cause as to why it should continue to exist. The Fraternity is working in concert with Florida State University administration and will cooperate with local authorities.
Grand Consul (International President) Michael Greenberg issued a charge to the entire fraternity to swiftly and completely eradicate hazing of all kinds from any association with Sigma Chi following his June 2013 election to the position. Sigma Chi stands ready to protect the safety and security of all of its members and, if the charges prove to be true, will render a more complete decision early next week.
The Sigma Chi Fraternity community is still reeling from the sudden death of its Executive Director, Michael Dunn, on January 24th and most of the leadership is currently in transit to Boise, ID where he will be laid to rest this weekend. The Fraternity asks for patience from the fraternal community and media while it deals with this emotional and heartbreaking time.
By: Julie Montanaro
January 31, 2014, 6pm
Four FSU fraternity brothers are arrested and accused of hazing.
The arrests come after a three month long investigation at Sigma Chi.
The Sigma Chi's at Florida State are in hot water over cold beer and hard liquor.
FSU Police say back on October 8, 2013, brothers taped full bottles of rum and vodka into pledges' hands and pressured them to drink it all.
"We're not aware of any hospitalizations, but people were to the point of vomiting and actually urinating on themselves so it was pretty serious," said Jim Russell, FSUPD.
The Sigma Chi fraternity was suspended in October. Now Four fraternity brothers who police say organized and supervised initiation rituals for the pledges - have been arrested. Charles Kalb, Alex Lavene, Tyler Linabury and Michael Salem - are facing misdemeanor hazing charges.
"I think that game is known as Edward Forty-hands, and it's something that is part of popular culture these days," said Sebastian Fiori, FSU student.
"Its awful, but I wasn't really shocked to hear about it," said Lizzye Ruben, FSU student.
When asked if she thought the arrests were important, Ruben responded, "Yeah, it'll show people that it shouldn't be done, and it needs to change."
"I mean, I don't know if arrests are reasonably appropriate, especially if nobody was seriously injured," said Fiori.
Mary Coburn, FSU's Vice President of Student Affairs, says the university will be reviewing the fraternity brothers actions to see if they've violated any student conduct codes, and the fraternity itself could face a lengthy suspension or worse.
"The most severe action would be that they wouldn't be able to function at the university," said Coburn.
We are trying to get a comment from Sigma Chi headquarters near Chicago. Attorney Ethan Way, who represents fraternity brother Michael Salem says he didn't haze any of those young men, and he's confident he'll be exonerated.
By: Julie Montanaro
January 31, 2014, 11:30am
Tallahassee, Fla. -- Four FSU fraternity brothers have been arrested and accused of hazing.
Michael Salem, Charles Kalb, Alex Lavene and Tyler Linabury have all been charged with misdemeanor hazing.
FSU police say the Sigma Chi brothers organized and supervised pledge rituals including taping bottles of liquor to the hands of pledges and pressuring them to finish them.
An anonymous tip prompted the investigation in October and the fraternity's suspension soon afterward.
Just filed arrest reports say many of the pledges vomited and some urinated on themselves but none was hospitalized.
News Release: Florida State University
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Four students, members of the Sigma Chi chapter at Florida State University, were arrested late Thursday, Jan. 30, by university police following an investigation that started with an anonymous telephone complaint about pledging rituals to the university's Office of Greek Life.
As a result of the investigation, the students were arrested and charged with misdemeanor hazing, in violation of Florida Statute 1006.63(3). The chapter has been suspended during the investigation.
Charged are Charles Kaub, 19, Tyler Linabury, 19, Michael Salem, 21, and Alex Lavene, 21. All four were identified by police to be responsible for organizing pledging activities and were allegedly responsible for significant portions of activities determined to be hazing, or failed to stop hazing when occurring under their direct supervision.
By: Lanetra Bennett
November 12, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - A fraternity at Florida State is under investigation. Police say an anonymous tipster accuses Sigma Chi of hazing.
FSU student Mary Kate Broadway says she went through college sorority rush, but, decided not to join the sorority.
"It was just like a big turn off." Broadway, says.
She says she is not surprised that FSU Police are investigating Sigma Chi Fraternity on allegations of possible hazing.
Broadway says, "I feel like hazing definitely does exist on our campus and on all other campuses, too. it's really like a thing that people do because they feel like they need to, they're like sucked into it."
Police say the FSU Office of Greek Life notified them about an anonymous complaint against Sigma Chi on October 17th.
Officers have not released the specifics of the reported incident, but, say it involves recruitment and/or alcohol violations related to the induction of new fraternity members.
MAJ Jim Russell with the FSU Police Department says, "In general, I think we need to have due diligence to stop hazing in whatever venue it occurs at. At the end of the day, people can get hurt. So, it's important that we pay attention to it."
The assistant chapter advisor, Richard Benton, says, "The Sigma Chi Fraternity at Florida State University understands that the University must respond to allegations of hazing, even those which are made anonymously and without corroboration."
Benton says Sigma Chi has directed its members and pledges to cooperate with police.
The Office of Greek Life says an interim disciplinary action is in place for Sigma Chi fraternity.
Full statements from Benton and the Office of Greek Life are posted below.
Statement from: Richard E. Benton, Assistant Chapter Advisor, FSU Sigma Chi Fraternity
The Sigma Chi Fraternity at Florida State University understands that the University must respond to allegations of hazing, even those which are made anonymously and without corroboration. Sigma Chi was informed on October 17, 2013 that such anonymous allegations had been made against it and that the Florida State University Police Department would undertake an inquiry regarding those anonymous and uncorroborated allegations.
Sigma Chi has directed its members and pledges to cooperate in all efforts by the Florida State University Police Department, and interviews with its members and pledges have been initiated and continue. Sigma Chi looks forward to having the opportunity to fully vet the anonymous and uncorroborated allegations made against it.
According to FSU Police:
On October 17, 2013, the FSU Police Department was notified by the FSU Office of Greek Life that they had received a complaint from an anonymous source regarding alleged activities at the Sigma Chi fraternity that may constitute recruitment and/or alcohol violations related to the induction of new members.
The FSUPD opened an inquiry to examine the veracity of the allegations and to develop information if the allegations were deemed to be credible.
This investigation is ongoing and continues at this time.
Statement FSU Office of Greek Life:
An interim disciplinary action, as authorized by University regulation, is in place for Sigma Chi fraternity. We will review any information provided by FSUPD at the conclusion of its investigation.