Florida

A ‘Scumbag of the Week’ victim and a drunk pledge. Now, two Florida frats face trouble

Several fraternities at Florida universities face scrutiny over hazing and activities that led to serious injuries in 2018.
Several fraternities at Florida universities face scrutiny over hazing and activities that led to serious injuries in 2018. Miami Herald File

Two Florida universities found unwanted attention this week over spring hazing incidents that led to life-threatening injuries for two students.

On Monday, the University of Florida in Gainesville suspended its chapter of Delta Chi for two years — until May 9, 2022 — after members of the fraternity tried to cover up why a pledge had a blood alcohol level that was four times the legal limit after a “Big Brother” ceremony, The Independent Alligator reported.

The fraternity violated four Student Conduct Codes, the Greek Conduct Committee decided. These include “serving alcohol to underage students and hazing, which led to the hospitalization of a student in critical condition with risk of fatality,” according to the campus newspaper.

Delta Chi has been operating on a limited capacity since the February incident in which fraternity brothers drove the inebriated pledge to the hospital, bypassing a closer university trauma center, and never called 911, the Alligator reported.

Delta Chi, one of UF’s 26 fraternities, hasn’t been able to host any social activities or recruit members.

“The university’s Dean of Students, Heather White, sent a letter to the president of the Florida chapter of the fraternity, informing the group of the suspension,” The Gainesville Sun reported. The fraternity has 10 business days to appeal the ruling.

Meanwhile, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity member Oliver Walker, 20, on Aug. 30.

Walker, who has not yet been arrested by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office as of Wednesday morning, is accused of striking a frat brother at Florida State University in April with such force the 20-year-old student suffered a skull fracture when he hit the ground unconscious and lost a tooth, The Tallahassee Democrat reports. The unnamed frat member was slapped, or punched — accounts vary — during a “Scumbag of the Week” Alpha Epsilon Pi game played with brothers of the fraternity but not among pledges.

In the game, frat members spin a large wheel in which various punishments are displayed and then carried out.

Walker, who was listed as a member of the fraternity but not an FSU student, was charged with battery and culpable negligence, WCTV Eyewitness News reported.

Alpha Epsilon Pi’s treasurer Aidan Smith and president Ira Sigman rushed the frat member to the hospital but “they agreed to make up a story that the victim slipped and fell, which they told to hospital staff,” the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

In April, FSU put the fraternity under disciplinary probation for the fall semester and then suspended it shortly after when the school learned there was a criminal investigation, the Democrat reported.

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