The University of Central Florida has confirmed to Local 6 a fraternity is temporarily suspended, pending an investigation, after a photo of alleged hazing was posted to a social media website.
Local 6 obtained a letter that was sent to UCF's chapter of Sigma Chi. Dated Feb. 8, it alerts the fraternity to its interim suspension and charges the student organization with disruptive conduct, alcohol misconduct and hazing.
The allegations stem from the photo, which appears to show a fraternity member giving a male pledge a drink, while two others sit hunched over appearing sick from drinking too much alcohol.
Student media outlet KnightNews.com reports the photo was posted to the Facebook page for a website that mocks Greek Life, TotalFratMove.com. The picture was accompanied with the following caption: "Forcing a pledge to chug while two others puke in misery. Total Frat Move," reports Knight News.
Chad Binette, a university spokesman, said the university had received the photo, which launched the investigation. Binette said the university also received some additional information about the incident, but could not elaborate.
Hazing is against Florida Law, but the Orange County Sheriff's Office would not commence its own investigation unless the university or a victim reported the allegations. Binette was not aware if the university reported the hazing allegations to law enforcement. The photo was taken at a local bar within OCSO jurisdiction.
According to the letter detailing Sigma Chi's punishment, a review meeting will be held on Feb. 22. The attendance of the chief officer of the group is mandatory. In the interim, the fraternity is not allowed to hold any group activities.
This weekend marked the end of a week-long philanthropy event called Derby Days for the fraternity. Its final event, a barbecue set to take place Saturday, was abruptly canceled according to the event's Facebook page.
Sigma Chi International fraternity in Evanston, Ill., released a statement on Monday, saying, "the International Fraternity is aware of these allegations and we are working in parallel with the University to fully investigate and obtain the facts. Based on the outcome, it is my expectation that those found involved with the incident will be held properly accountable. It is also our expectation that the local Chapter will fully cooperate with the authorities."