The Investigators: Alleged hazing behind LSU investigation into fraternity

The Investigators: Alleged hazing behind LSU investigation into fraternity

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Documents obtained by the Investigators through a public records request reveals that alleged acts of hazing are at the heart of an investigation into Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at LSU.

Documents show the alleged hazing took place the week of March 10 during initiation. Withholding medication, sleep deprivation, and forcing members to sleep at the fraternity house are all cited several times as possible acts of hazing.

The documents also show that Lambda Chi had already received a letter of reprimand in December 2015 for unspecified reasons.

An incident report submitted by fraternity advisors to LSU as part of the investigation details some of the events in question.  For example, on the accusation of withholding medications, the document said it was done "for the purposes of distributing appropriately" and notes that phones were also collected to "manage communication."

The incident report also said members were sleeping at the house to "foster stronger bonding," and that the sleep deprivation was a short ritual called "Midnight Visions" during which members were woken up, shown the Lambda Chi "Cross & Crescent" emblem and allowed to go back to sleep.

The incident report noted that "Midnight Visions are not sanctioned events of Lambda Chi Alpha."

The Investigators spoke with national Lambda Chi Alpha representative Tad Lichtenauer on the phone. He said he could not comment as the investigation is ongoing and did not have direct knowledge of the previous letter of reprimand.

As part of the standard investigation process, the fraternity is given the option of agreeing to an Administrative Outcome, meaning the group accepts the charges and whatever penalty the university decides based on the evidence at hand.

In this case, the Administrative Outcome chose the most severe penalty, the Rescission of University Registration, which involves the revoking of the university's registration of the organization for a stated or an indeterminate period of time.

For Lambda Chi, that would mean being kicked off campus for two years.

Lambda Chi declined the Administrative Outcome, and instead will defend the charges before a university hearing panel scheduled for May 12.

Two other fraternities were booted from LSU in 2015 following accusations of hazing. The LSU chapter of Acacia Fraternity was closed in March, while Sigma Chi was suspended in November and kicked off campus in December.

"We have worked to educate our fraternities and sororities so that students feel comfortable reporting potential incidents. We have raised awareness among our student organizations of what constitutes hazing and have encouraged them to be proactive with reporting," said LSU spokesperson Ernie Ballard.

Ballard could not comment on the current investigation.

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