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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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WEB EXCLUSIVE: SAE members face SJS charges

Posted Nov. 20, 10:30 p.m. — Seven students in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were charged with hazing and other offenses by Student Judicial Services after a kidnapping prank outside Funger Hall Nov. 7, according to Senior Assistant Dean of Students Michael Walker.

The students must complete 10 hours of community service and are placed on disciplinary probation for one year, meaning they would face more severe penalties for offenses committed during that time.

Fraternity President Andrew Hopkins said nine students involved in the incident — the seven charged and two kidnapped — are pledges, not active members.

“When I arrived, that’s what they told (University Police) and that’s what they told me,” Hopkins said.

The national organization will not punish the house, Hopkins said, because no active members were involved. GW does not release names of students who receive charges.

National chapter officials could not be reached for comment.

“Any member of any Greek organization that’s hazing should raise an eyebrow with the national chapter,” Walker said. He would not verify if the students involved were pledges or members of the fraternity.

Metropolitan Police regards the incident as a prank and will not pursue charges.

Hopkins said he will support the students through GW disciplinary action.

“The brothers will support the pledges no matter what action is taken against them,” he said.

Because the fraternity is not recognized by GW, students are charged individually but the house receives no reprimand.

Under GW’s student code of conduct, leaders and executive members of any active, unrecognized student group are accountable for the actions of their members.

According to bylaws of the national organization, kidnapping qualifies as hazing but only if brothers and pledges are both involved.

“This was not an act of hazing,” he said. “How can pledges haze themselves? It doesn’t make sense.”

-Russ Rizzo contributed to this report.

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