UB Student death/suspected hazing incident

Updated August 21, 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 continues to offer counseling services for students, faculty and staff during this difficult time.

At the direction of UB President Satish K. Tripathi, the official activities of all Greek-letter, social, fraternal organizations were immediately suspended.

With the commencement of the Fall 2019 semester, the suspension of Greek Life social fraternal organizations, barring Sigma Pi, will be lifted. Sigma Pi will remain suspended while the Buffalo Police continue their investigation and until UB’s Office of Student Conduct and Advocacy can initiate and complete its adjudication process.

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 are being strongly counseled about UB’s zero tolerance policy on hazing and are being cautioned about the serious consequences of hazing.

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

This internal review of the activities of Greek-letter, social, fraternal organizations at UB has been completed. The outcome of the review specifies four broad recommendations and 14 specific recommendations to improve University oversight and education and increase the accountability within these organizations for self-monitoring. You can learn more about this internal review in the news release.

Who is investigating this incident?

The Buffalo Police department is investigating this incident After that investigation is complete, UB’s office of student conduct and advocacy will initiate its adjudication process.

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.

With the commencement of the Fall 2019 semester, the suspension of Greek Life social fraternal organizations, barring Sigma Pi, will be lifted. Sigma Pi will remain suspended while the Buffalo Police continue their investigation and until UB’s Office of Student Conduct and Advocacy can initiate and complete its adjudication process

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. 

An internal review into the activities of Greek-letter, social, fraternal organizations at UB has been completed. It specifies four broad recommendations and 14 specific recommendations to improve University oversight and education and increase accountability within these organizations for self-monitoring. You can learn more about this internal review in the news release.

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

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

UB's enrollment is 31,503 (Fall 2018). To learn more about the University at Buffalo, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/about_ub/ub_at_a_glance.htm