PENSACOLA, Fla. — Two University of West Florida Greek life organizations have been suspended — one for a minimum of five years — for separate hazing incidents.
The suspension was enacted Thursday, and the announcement was made by UWF President Martha Saunders on Friday.
The Tau-Psi chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was suspended for a minimum of five years following the conclusion of an investigation into hazing, risk management and alcohol-related misconduct.
A letter from Saunders to UWF students states that activities at an unregistered, off-campus party hosted by Tau-Psi included hazing, underage drinking, risk-management violations, drinking games and common source container and coerced consumption of alcohol.
Additionally, the Nu Eta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority has been hit with a temporary suspension, pending the results of an investigation into alleged hazing.
Both suspensions are effective immediately, according to a press release from UWF.
"The university takes this type of behavior very seriously," Saunders said in a news release. "It is unacceptable and is not reflective of the overall culture of fraternity and sorority life on our campus."
In an interview with the News Journal on Monday, UWF Director of Student Involvement Ben Stubbs said the schools addresses a handful of hazing incidents each semester, but none are usually very serious.
"I will say that we probably look into two or three reports in any given semester," Stubbs said. "Many of those boil down to communication issues or are inconclusive. Some of them will result in charges or sanctions, but very few."
Stubbs could not be reached for comment on Friday regarding the suspensions. Tau-Psi Chapter President Alex Wallerstein also did not return a phone call from the News Journal on Friday.
"Although we remain committed to the growth and success of the fraternity and sorority community at UWF, we must hold all our student organizations to the standards set forth by the University in the interest of our students' safety and success," Saunders added, in a letter to the UWF students.
The suspensions come two weeks after the hazing-related death of a Florida State University fraternity member. Andrew Coffey's death spurred an indefinite suspension of all fraternities and sororities by FSU President John Thrasher and led the Florida Board of Governors to consider a similar measure against all university Greek life organizations in the state when the board next meets in January.