Panel: UCF frat shouldn't be punished over controversial video

Video shows man yelling 'rape'


ORLANDO, Fla. – A panel on Thursday recommended no punishment for a University of Central Florida fraternity, saying that the fraternity did not condone or encourage acts of sexual misconduct.

The hearing was held after a video surfaced showing one member chanting the word "rape" and promoting sexual assault, officials said.

The video was recorded in June at the off-campus apartments of Sigma Nu.

A man can be heard on the video repeatedly yelling "rape."  According to the Orlando Sentinel, the same man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman last year.

The hearing, which discussed if the fraternity violated a rule of conduct governing student organizations, was closed to the public because of student privacy laws. 

UCF officials said the panel's recommendation will be forwarded to the university's director of Student Rights and Responsibilities for a final decision.

"The appalling behavior seen in this video is not how responsible men act," said Chad Binette, assistant vice president of UCF News & Information. "While offensive speech may be allowable, it is inappropriate in every sense. That's why we're working with the national fraternity office to help change the culture that led to this behavior."

UCF issued a temporary suspension after obtaining the video, however, UCF regulations prohibit the university from issuing a permanent suspension without the conduct board determining the organization is in violation of UCF rules.

Now that the conduct board said the group is not in violation, UCF would have to have a whole new hearing before a panel and secure an "in violation" finding in order to suspend the fraternity permanently.