Crime

SMU Police Get Anonymous Tip About Hazing (That Maybe Didn't Happen) at a Frat House

In yet another piece of bad publicity for SMU's fraternities, the university's police department reports there was a "hazing incident" at Sigma Alpha Epsilon over the weekend. Two reports were filed from the Sigma Alpha house on February 17, one around 9:30 a.m. for the hazing, and another at 10 a.m., which says a student was cited and released for possession of drug paraphernalia.

The incident report from Sigma Alpha was first pointed out by Melissa Repko at The Dallas Morning News. Repko also notes, correctly, that the SMU police don't publicly release their police reports.

We emailed SMU spokesperson Kent Best for a comment, and that's when the plot thickened.

"SMU Police received an anonymous phone tip that possible hazing had occurred at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house," Best wrote back. "Officers immediately responded but were unable to find any evidence of hazing. The case has been referred to SMU Student Affairs, but SMU Police officers will continue their investigation."

This is, of course, a particularly touchy time up at SMU when it comes to any hazing allegations. Just a week ago, another frat with "Sigma" in its name, Sigma Phi Epsilon, was placed on probation after some of its members allegedly assaulted another student. (That case was initially filed as a "Aggravated Assault/Aggravated Kidnapping/Personal Hazing Offense/Unlawful Restraint" by the SMU police, before being downgraded to a mere assault and unlawful restraint.)

In her post, Repko points to an editorial written just last week by Sigma Ep member and student body President Alex Mace. Mace refers to the alleged assault at Sig Ep as part of "another trying moment in our campus's history." He adds that "addressing the various physical and sexual assaults, allegations of hazing and failures to respect diversity on this campus has taken a bit of a toll on my otherwise even-keeled demeanor."

"We have a student population that, from drinking to drug use to sexual activity, has largely removed self-respect and personal responsibility from the actions they take towards themselves and others," Mace writes. He asks his fellow students to "ardently pursue a student community that seeks honor and responsibility rather than petty and meaningless distraction."

More to come on this, when we have it.

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Anna Merlan
Contact: Anna Merlan