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Alleged hazing at Sigma Chi brings investigation

By Cara O'Connor
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday January 24, 2003

The Sigma Chi fraternity is under investigation by the Dean of Students Office for alleged hazing activities that occurred at the chapter house the week of Jan. 8.

That week, Greek Life received an anonymous phone call reporting hazing during the initiation of 36 Sigma Chi pledges. That complaint was then taken to Associate Dean of Students Veda Kowalski who sent a letter to the fraternity, notifying it of the investigation.
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The chapter is deeply concerned with the allegations that have been brought forth and is working to resolve the issue.

Patrick McNamara
Sigma Chi President
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It is unclear how long the investigation will last. It may continue until the end of the semester, Kowalski said.

The chapter was aware of the complaint prior to receiving the letter and had already begun an internal investigation when it received the official notice, said Sigma Chi President Patrick McNamara.

The fraternity's internal judicial board that handles all investigations is collecting names of those involved in the alleged incident and will interview each of them in the coming weeks, McNamara said.

"The chapter is deeply concerned with the allegations that have been brought forth and is working to resolve the issue," he said.

Kowalski will give the fraternity the opportunity to discuss the case with her so that she can determine whether or not a violation of university policy took place.

The fraternity intends to take advantage of the opportunity.

"I'd like to think that we are a positive influence on the campus and that our presence is a benefit to this school, as well as the Tucson community," McNamara said.

Sigma Chi's national organization is also investigating the incident.

The chapter could be placed on a 45-day suspension by the national organization pending investigation, said Ben Fjosne, associate director of chapter development for Sigma Chi.

According to the UA Student Code of Conduct, hazing is "any activity undertaken or situation created, by any individual, group of individuals or organization, in which individuals are voluntarily or involuntarily subjected to activities that have the potential to harass, intimidate, impart pain, humiliate, invite ridicule or, cause undue mental or physical fatigue or distress, or to cause mutilation, laceration, or bodily injury."

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