Conway, SC - CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A violation of hazing policies at Coastal Carolina University has led to a five year suspension of the school's Zeta Phi Beta sorority, according to university officials.
School officials announced Thursday morning that information gathered through an investigation by the Office of Student Conduct led to the suspension.
Mona Prufer, spokeswoman for the school, said the school's hazing policy was violated in regards to new member processes. Officials said the incident in question occurred off campus during the Spring 2010 semester.
"We don't in any way support any behavior that's going to endanger the lives of individuals, whether psychologically, whether physically, stopping them or impeding them from moving forward in their academic career at Coastal," Travis Overton, director of the Office of Student Conduct and Campus Services, said.
A copy of fraternity and sorority hazing guidelines obtained from the university's website defines hazing as any "reckless or intentional act, occurring on or off campus, that produces physical, mental or emotional pain, discomfort, humiliation, embarrassment or ridicule directed towards other students or groups (regardless of their willingness to participate), that is required or expected of new members and which is not related to the mission of the team, group or organization."
Activities considered to be in violation of CCU's hazing policy include:
- Physical acts such as running or calisthenics
- Striking an individual with the hand or board
- Burning or scarring of the skin
- Forced or coerced eating or drinking of any substance, including alcohol
- Applying of any substance to an associate member's body or belongings
- Physical harassment such as pushing, tickling and yelling
- Deprivation of sleep or normal sleeping patterns
- Individual or group interrogations such as line-ups
- Deprivation of adequate study time
School officials warn student hazing can lead to fines, the withholding of diplomas, or probation and expulsion from the university.
An anti-hazing policy statement on the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. website states each prospective member is informed that hazing is against the organization's rules. Officials said sisters are given hazing instructions during the intake process and are encouraged to report any suspicious activity.
"Prospective members are directed to walk away from any hazing activity, and to report all attempts to haze to the proper authorities," the policy read.
Prufer said the terms of suspension for the Zeta Phi Beta sorority encompass all activities, including new member processes, meetings, community service and social events.
After the suspension has expired, the Zeta Phi Beta chapter may petition the university to recognize the sorority for the Fall 2015 semester.