UCF begins formal hearings to determine Sigma Chi's future

Fraternity defends against hazing allegation

ORLANDO, Fla. - Formal hearings have begun into hazing allegations at the University of Central Florida, and Local 6 has obtained recordings that show how Sigma Chi fraternity plans to defend against those allegations.

It is not yet clear what was said in Friday's hearing, but recordings from a recent preliminary hearing reveal details about a hazing scandal that forced the fraternity to be under suspension for 45 days.

In February, UCF leaders canceled all Greek-related events on campus after a picture surfaced online that shows young men in what is alleged to be forced drinking and hazing by the fraternity.

The chapter president, David Barley, spoke at the hearing on behalf of Sigma Chi and denied the allegations, saying, "Each of the three parties involved strenuously deny any forcible drinking of any kind."

Sigma Chi said the picture is not what it seems, that it is just a "typical night at a college bar" and part "UCF culture."

After an internal investigation and after interviewing fraternity members, Barley went on to say the young men involved went to the "On Tap" bar off-campus on their own, and the picture did not depict an organized fraternity event.

"They were not consuming alcohol," said Barley. "One has said to me he was sick with the flu, which is the one up front. The one at the back stated to us he was getting the girl's number, which was behind him. And the one standing told us he was consuming water."

Barley refused to say when the incident happened and who was involved, but that information could be revealed when the formal hearing become publicly available.

Until the hearing is complete sometime after spring break, the fraternity will remain under suspension.

Copyright 2013 by ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.