Sam Houston State University’s Theta Chi fraternity is under investigation for “military style” hazing by both the Dean of Students Office and University Police Department.
According to UPD Chief Kevin Morris, a Theta Chi member approached university police late Sunday night claiming he witnessed his fraternity hazing pledges. Morris said the member alleged that the fraternity made pledges do “military-style exercises for a couple hours” as a form of initiation, which is against state law and the SHSU Greek Life Guidelines.
“We’ve met with witnesses and collected statements,” Morris said. “We’ve forwarded the statements to the dean of students.”
From the UPD online Daily Police Activity log from Sept. 29:
At 12:09 AM, an officer was dispatched to the University Police Department in reference to a reported incident of hazing that occurred on September 28th at the Theta Chi Fraternity House, located at 322 Bearkat Boulevard. Upon meeting with the complainant, a member of the fraternity, the officer was informed of a violation. The reported violation was in reference to pledges doing military style exercises for a couple of hours. At this time the officer began an investigation that involved numerous witnesses. The information has been collected and also has been forwarded to the Dean of Students’ Office for Judicial Review.
Dean of Students John Yarabeck said his office’s investigation is in its preliminary stages.
“One could assume if there was a police report of that nature that our office would be looking into it,” Yarabeck said. “We don’t know [the details] in this particular case yet, and we’re investigating it in its totality. We’re not going to comment until we know more about what’s going on.”
DELTA TAU DELTA UPDATE
Theta Chi is not the only fraternity currently under investigation.
While not disclosing details of the current investigation into allegations against SHSU’s Delta Tau Delta chapter, Yarabeck said that the issue is currently in the appellate stage.
“[The Delta Tau Delta case] hasn’t been decided yet,” Yarabeck said. “I can’t give you anything more until a decision has been made. There’s an appeal process, and you know, there should be. That’s what we’re looking into at this point. Part of it’s done. An appeal has been made, and that’s what we’re waiting for.”
Yarabeck cited the Family Educational and Privacy Rights, or FERPA, law for withholding more information about both cases.
“A students’ disciplinary record does in fact fall under FERPA, so an investigation therefore would be considered a part of students’ record,” Yarabeck said. “Even if you have an investigation, [if] we find somebody not responsible, there’s still a disciplinary record and it still would be considered confidential.”
Follow The Houstonian for continuing updates on both investigations.