UB responds to suspected overnight fraternity hazing

Release Date: April 12, 2019

“As the investigation into this very serious matter continues, let me reiterate that our university has zero tolerance for hazing. Not only are hazing incidents a violation of our university policies, but they are also crimes.”
UB President Satish K. Tripathi

The University at Buffalo community is deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our student whose injuries, Buffalo Police suspect, may have resulted from hazing overnight.

We are in contact with the student’s family and will provide whatever assistance and comfort we can during this very difficult time, as we hope for the very best for our student who is an undergraduate student at UB.

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.

At the direction of UB President Satish K. Tripathi, effective immediately and until further notice, the official activities of all fraternities and sororities are suspended.

In a statement issued to the university campus this afternoon, Tripathi said, “This morning, I was informed that one of our UB students had been hospitalized with a serious medical condition as the result of a possible hazing incident. We have reached out to the student’s family and are providing all the assistance and comfort we can to them during this incredibly difficult time. I ask you to keep this student – one of our own -- and his family in your thoughts.

“As the investigation into this very serious matter continues, let me reiterate that our university has zero tolerance for hazing. Not only are hazing incidents a violation of our university policies, but they are also crimes.”  The full statement can be found here: http://www.buffalo.edu/president/from-the-president/communications/statement-from-president-tripathi.html.

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.

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.

The university will not comment further on this incident at this time out of respect for the family’s privacy.

More information about the UB’s policies on Greek life is available at www.buffalo.edu/news/key-issues/hazing.html.

Additional information about suspected fraternity hazing incident

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 leads/rumors are police investigating?

Because this is an active investigation, we cannot comment on its status but we will police findings after the investigation concludes.

How is the university responding to this incident?

At the direction of UB President Satish K. Tripathi, effective immediately and until further notice, the official activities of all fraternities and sororities 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.

Beginning this week, the university will launch 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.

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.

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.

Media Contact Information

John DellaContrada
Interim Vice President for Communications
Tel: 716-645-4601 (mobile: 716-361-3006)
dellacon@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @UBNewsSource