The president of the University of Florida has suspended the school’s chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity following a hazing incident involving the organization and prospective members.
In an email to students, Bernie Machen, the university’s president, labeled it as a “serious physical hazing incident.” He said that university officials learned about the incident on Saturday. University officials said that the incident is being investigated by the University of Florida police department.
“We believe the incident took place several weeks prior,” said Janine Sikes, a spokeswoman for the university.
Alpha Phi Alpha is the first African-American college Greek-letter organization. The fraternity was founded in 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Dave Kratzer, Florida's vice president for student affairs, said, "This was not a case that we know of that anyone went to the hospital — thank goodness." He added that the incident was “not in the realm of seriousness on the far end of things, when you think about what could have occurred with hazing, and we want to stop it now.”
The fraternity’s executive director issued a statement, saying that the organization had issued a cease-and-desist order upon the chapter at the University of Florida and that, it, too, will conduct an investigation of the incident.
"We recognize that hazing is a persistent social scourge that has proven time and time again to be difficult to eradicate and too dangerous to tolerate," the statement said. "Alpha Phi Alpha does not condone hazing! Alpha Phi Alpha has embraced programs, which provide leadership tools to recognize, prevent and address hazing."
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