The Lehigh University Police Department and Office of Student Affairs are investigating an anonymous report indicating serious violations of Lehigh’s Anti-Hazing Policy within the Greek Life community.
Chloe Abshire, assistant dean and director of fraternity and sorority affairs told The Brown and White in an email the allegations under investigation were brought to the university’s attention on Sept. 20. An email about the allegations was sent to the campus community on Sept. 29.
LUPD and Office of Student Affairs will be sharing the allegations with chapter alumni advisors and the national headquarters of the fraternity and/or sororities reported to be involved.
Under the Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law, organizations, leaders and members involved in hazing can face criminal charges occurring within their organization. They may also face civil liability if hazing results in physical and psychological injuries.
Lehigh is obligated by law to report any and all hazing incidents publicly twice throughout the year.
This announcement comes one week after the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs hosted programming for National Hazing Prevention Week.
The email to the campus community indicated that from pre-rush events, a large number is anticipated for the spring recruitment for Greek life this academic year.
Vice President for Student Affairs Ricardo Hall, Dean of Students Katherine W. Lavinder, and Assistant Dean/Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Chloe Abshire encouraged students to report any instances of hazing or behavior that might harm others in their email to Lehigh students and families.
“However, any behavior by individual members and/or organizations that is unsafe, harmful, or related to hazing would necessitate the interruption or even cancellation of formal recruitment activities for some or all fraternity and sorority organizations,” the email said. “We sincerely hope that taking such action is not required, but will not hesitate to do so if needed in the interest of student health and safety.”
According to the Student Organization Conduct Records, two fraternities, Alpha Epsilon Pi and Chi Phi have pending cases. However, The Brown and White cannot confirm if the charges are related to the investigation referenced in the university email.
Alpha Epsilon Pi’s hazing allegation is for the “Allegation of hazing related to forced consumption of alcohol” and was reported on Sept. 20.
Chi Phi’s hazing allegation is for “Allegation of hazing related to new members being forces to live in a basement for a week,” and was reported on Sept. 20.
As of Sept. 30 the page has been updated to no longer reflect pending cases for Alpha Epsilon Pi or Chi Phi.