UB Student death/suspected hazing incident

Updated April 19, 2019

On Wednesday, April 17 the UB community suffered the tragic loss of one of our students, Sebastian Serafin-Bazan. Our hearts go out to his family and the university joins them in mourning this loss.

FAQ

How is the university responding to this incident?

The university community is offering counseling services for students, faculty and staff during this difficult time.

At the direction of UB President Satish K. Tripathi, effective immediately and until further notice, the official activities of all Greek-letter, social, fraternal organizations are suspended.

The university cannot state strongly enough that we have zero tolerance for hazing and will aggressively pursue any suspected incidents of hazing. All Greek-letter, social, fraternal organizations will again be strongly counseled about UB’s zero tolerance policy on hazing and will be cautioned about the serious consequences of hazing.

The university has launched an internal review into the activities of Greek-letter, social, fraternal organizations at UB. An internal review committee, formed by UB vice president for student life A. Scott Weber, will examine each organization's health and safety educational programs, policies and practices, with a special focus on anti-hazing.

“We have launched a thorough review of the Greek life culture at UB,” said A. Scott Weber, vice president for student life.  “With broad representation from across the university, the review team is committed to applying new perspectives and solutions to the issues that continue to be associated with Greek life here at UB and nationally.” 

Who is investigating this incident?

University Police are working closely with Buffalo Police as they investigate the incident involving the Sigma Pi fraternity, and university officials also will conduct an internal review into the fraternity’s activities. Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to immediately contact University Police at 716-645-2222.

Is Sigma Pi a recognized fraternity?

Sigma Pi is a nationally recognized fraternity with more than 120 chapters in the U.S. and Canada; the UB chapter has approximately 20 members.

UB has approximately 1,000 students participating in more than 35 recognized social fraternities and sororities affiliated with our campus. These organizations are expected to complement the university's educational mission and to comply with campus policies, rules and regulations, as well as federal, state and local laws.

Do UB’s Greek-letter, social, fraternal organizations reside in or own houses in the community?

There is only one organization that owns a house. All others live in a variety of off-campus residences and the addresses of those residences do not remain consistent from year to year. There are no on-campus Greek houses at UB.

What sort of disciplinary actions will be taken against members of the fraternity involved?

While federal privacy law prohibits UB from commenting on disciplinary proceedings involving individual students, whenever there is a serious violation of UB’s student code of conduct, such as hazing, students face suspension and the possibility of expulsion from the university.

UB is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for our students to pursue their studies and participate in appropriate activities that are an essential part of the university experience.

How does the university educate students about the risks and consequences of hazing?

Information about UB’s anti-hazing policy and the consequences of hazing are described on university webpages providing information about student clubs, Greek life and student conduct. At student orientation, the university devotes a considerable amount of time to talking to students and parents about the risks of hazing in any organization.  Also, students who join Greek groups are warned about the dangers of hazing and risky behaviors at mandatory workshops for new members. 

Where can I learn more information about the university's policies regarding Greek organizations?

More information is available at http://www.buffalo.edu/news/key-issues/hazing.html.

How many students are enrolled at the university and how can I learn more about UB?

UB's enrollment is 31,503. To learn more about the University at Buffalo, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/about_ub/ub_at_a_glance.html.