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Fraternity faces third report of hazing allegations since 2022

Sigma Phi Epsilon resides in Martin Hall on UNK’s campus. Photo by Jenna Heinz / Antelope Staff

A UNK fraternity is under investigation following their third hazing allegation in two years.

In early October, officials at the university were made aware of a possible hazing incident involving UNK fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon.

“Our office of Community Standards and Student Conducts is looking into what happened and we’re still kind of learning all the details of the situation,” said Todd Gottula, UNK spokesperson. “We’ll determine if any necessary sanctions or disciplinary actions are warranted when that investigation is concluded.”

A cease-and-desist has been issued to Sigma Phi Epsilon by the University instructing them to halt all membership operations.

“The fraternity was temporarily suspended from all membership operations and directed to refrain from all meetings, activities and events related to membership,” Gottula said.

The fraternity, however, is not suspended from all activities and campus events.

In addition to the report in early October, there have been two other reports of hazing incidents, one in August of 2022 and one in September of this year. The reports were under investigation, but the University was not able to verify what was reported in those complaints.

Gottula said UNK has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing and provides programs to educate student organizations about the consequences.

“We have anti-hazing policies and programs in place that are pretty clear,” Gottula said. “If there are violations then there are consequences.”

UNK fraternities are obligated to abide by the student code of conduct. It states that hazing is any activity done to a person, intentionally or not, that causes harm to physical or mental health or safety for the purpose of acceptance into any student organization.

Joseph Hiatt, president of the Interfraternity Council, said that hazing is despicable and has no place on campus.

“We are fortunate to have dedicated student leaders who work to prevent hazing,” Hiatt said. “It’s important to recognize that hazing is not limited to fraternities and sororities; it happens across college campuses.”

Keenan Torres, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon was contacted for comment but said he didn’t “have any information to share at this time.” 

The University has not finished its investigation to determine if necessary disciplinary action is warranted.

“We are currently looking into reports of activities that have raised concerns, [and] we will not discuss specifics,” Gottula said. “The allegations, though not extreme, are being taken very seriously. Hazing has no place on our campus, [and] it won’t be tolerated.”

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