UF Fraternities Under Investigation for Alleged Hazing
The University of Florida is currently investigating two fraternities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Theta Chi, for alleged hazing incidents that occurred during the fall peak season of 2023. The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution is leading the open investigation, although specific details about the sanctions cannot be disclosed to the public at this time.
UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan stated that Sigma Alpha Epsilon is currently on interim suspension, while Theta Chi has received a limited activity directive. The final outcome for both fraternities will be determined based on the ongoing investigation.
“Hazing is unequivocally prohibited at the University of Florida,” Roldan emphasized. “It is behavior that is incompatible with the fundamental values of the institution and will not be tolerated. UF will hold any organization or individual responsible for hazing accountable, with sanctions ranging from loss of university privileges to expulsion.”
According to the Student Honor and Conduct Code, hazing is defined as any action or series of actions that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental and physical health or safety of a student. This includes forced consumption of food, alcohol, or drugs, physical beatings, forced sexual conduct, forced physical activities, or any activity that inflicts significant mental stress on individuals.
An anonymous fraternity brother from UF shared their experience, describing the pledging process as one of the worst they have ever encountered. While acknowledging the efficacy of the process, they also believe there are alternative ways for fraternity members to bond.
These allegations of hazing are not the first for these fraternities. Sigma Alpha Epsilon had previously faced suspension for alcohol consumption and hazing from spring 2021 to December 2022. They also received a deferred suspension for violating campus events and gatherings policies and COVID-19 student behavior expectations. Similarly, Theta Chi fraternity was suspended in the fall 2020 semester through fall 2021 for multiple acts of physical hazing, including throwing objects at pledges and subjecting them to prolonged periods of mental stress. They were also under conduct review for damaging the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house.
According to the Interfraternity Council, there have been a total of eight reported cases of hazing by UF fraternal organizations since 2019, involving Alpha Epsilon Pi, Chi Phi, Delta Sigma Chi, Pi Lambda Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Theta Chi. In comparison, there has only been one reported case of hazing by a sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, in fall 2022. KKG’s probation remains in effect until 2024.
The University of Florida strongly condemns hazing and strives to create a hazing-free environment on campus. The Office of the Dean of Students encourages students to report any incident or suspicion of hazing to the University of Florida Police Department or the Student Conduct and Conflicts office.
Attempts to reach the UFPD, Theta Chi Fraternity International Headquarters, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon International Headquarters for statements regarding the incidents were unsuccessful at the time of publication.