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ZBT member's injury incites probe of frat

By Eric Swedlund
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 20, 1999

Zeta Beta Tau's national office last week completed an investigation into a possible assault and found no evidence of a hazing incident committed by its local chapter, which is no longer recognized by the UA.

University of Arizona Police Department responded on Oct. 6 to University Medical Center, where a doctor was examining a ZBT member for what he said appeared to be "paddle marks" on his buttocks, police reports stated.

ZBT's national Executive Director Jonathan Yulish said he came to Tucson last week to investigate the situation because he was concerned about the reported incident.

"We didn't find anything at all," he said. "Our investigation is closed."

A ZBT member was brought to the hospital by two unidentified men and appeared to be intoxicated. The student, who told police he had passed out earlier that night, had a blood alcohol content of .220, police reports stated.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat has chosen to withhold the student's name in an effort to protect his privacy.

According to police reports, the officer informed the student "it was common for fraternities to paddle pledges" and asked how he received the marks. The student then told the officer he did not want to comment about the situation or press assault charges, reports stated.

Police referred the student to the UA Dean of Students Diversion Program for underage drinking instead of issuing him a citation.

ZBT President Ron Gibori said he was aware the student was sent to the diversion program.

"He got drunk at a party somewhere," Gibori said, adding that it was not at the ZBT house.

Any possible signs of assault described by the doctor in the police report are "not factual," Gibori said.

Gibori refused further comment about any possible assault or the investigation.

Yulish said Veda Hunn, UA assistant dean of students, notified ZBT's national office of the reported incident.

The Dean of Students Office did not investigate because the fraternity has no affiliation with the university.

ZBT's UA chapter recognition was withdrawn in December 1997 for violations of party management policies set by Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol.

UAPD Sgt. Michael Smith said police did not press charges because the student refused to cooperate in the investigation.

"There was an incident but the student did not wish to press charges," Smith said.

Yulish said there have been no past investigations involving the chapter and the national organizational will continue to work with its members because they are in "good standing."

The ZBT member could not be reached for comment despite repeated telephone calls.

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