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FSU Suspends Fraternity; Four Charged With Misdemeanor Hazing

Sigma Chi, FSU Chapter Facebook
Sigma Chi House, Florida State University

Florida State University has suspended one of its fraternities and four of the Greek house’s members face charges after an alleged hazing incident.

Charles Kaub, Tyler Linabury, Michael Salem and Alex Lavene, all members of Sigma Chi, face misdemeanor hazing charges. Florida State University Police say they were in charge of an incoming group of pledges and oversaw many of the activities tied to the hazing allegations. According to FSU police spokesman Jim Russell, one of the activities was a drinking ritual during a so-called "Big Brother Night" where the pledges met with other members of the fraternity.

“Allegations said there was high-risk alcohol use during a ceremony where pledges were, not necessarily forced, but pressured to drink large amounts of alcohol resulting in some of them vomiting and urinating on themselves.” 

Consuming large amounts of alcohol can lead to hospitalization and even death.  If convicted, the students face fines and probation. They could also be disciplined by the University as well. The investigation into the alleged hazing began with an anonymous telephone complaint to FSU’s Office of Greek Life in October.

Russell says the decision to charge the men was due to whether their actions posed a "substantial risk of physical injury," according to Florida's hazing law. There are two levels of hazing. Felony charges arise when a person has been physically injured or has died, as in the case of Chad Meredith the University of Miami student who drowned during a hazing ritual. He had been drinking prior to attempting to swim across Lake Osceola. Florida's hazing law is named after him.