Sacramento State University has commenced a fraternity hazing investigation after receiving a report Delta Chi forced its pledges to participate in what is known among some Greek organizations as an “elephant walk.” Fraternity hazing has been illegal in the state of California since 2006. Despite the 15-year ban on fraternity hazing in the Golden State, year after year new cases of this type of misconduct arise.
An elephant walk is considered to be a particularly degraded form of fraternity hazing. The elephant walk hazing practice typically involves fraternity members of pledges forming a line. The men then grab ahold of the genitals of the man directly behind them.
According to university officials, administrators received some sort of photographic evidence of this practice. There is a question as to when the photo was taken and the precise age of the image.
The university’s public information officer announced that the Delta Chi fraternity has not been suspended as of this time. An investigation has been initiated into the allegation regarding the so-called elephant walk and whether any other types of impermissible fraternity hazing has occurred in regard to the Sacramento State University Delta Chi chapter.
In initiating an investigation into the Delta Chi chapter, university administration set forth when and how sanctions are applied in Sacramento State University fraternity hazing cases:
“In general, sanctions for substantiated cases of hazing span a wide spectrum including educational sanctions aimed at helping ensure that organizations operate appropriately and suspensions of varying lengths of time, when necessary. Suspensions can be for a semester or years, depending on the severity and level of pervasiveness of the incident and the record of the organization. As part of its commitment to the safety of its campus community, Sacramento State has absolutely no tolerance for hazing, and every allegation is thoroughly investigated. All campus Greek life organizations receive extensive hazing prevention training, and any student who suspects an act of hazing has occurred is encouraged to report the incident immediately to Student Organizations and Leadership.”
The local chapter of Delta Chi declined to comment of the allegations. The fraternity’s international headquarters staff was unavailable over last weekend when the story initially broke about the alleged having incident.
Despite stringent laws on the books across the United States, and very clear policies at colleges and universities from coast to coast, stopping fraternity hazing has thus far proven impossible. Every year, pledges and initiated members of fraternities are injured and even killed in hazing incidents. At least one young man has been killed in fraternity hazing every year for the past two decades. In addition, students have found themselves afflicted with emotional and mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD as the result of particularly aggressive forms of fraternity hazing.
Hazing on college campuses is not confined to men’s Greek organizations alone. Sorority having continues to occur at U.S. colleges and universities. Other types of organizations, including everything from sports teams to marching bands, have been sanctioned for violating prohibitions against hazing in recent years.
The bottom line is that even after hazing has been illegal in nearly all jurisdictions in the country, nearly three-quarters of fraternity and sorority members report that they have been subjected to the practice. This data was obtained via a comprehensive study of hazing undertaken by the University of Maine.
If you’ve been the victim of fraternity hazing, The Doan Law Firm is here for you. We can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year by calling (800) 349-0000. We can arrange an initial consultation with a fraternity hazing lawyer at any one of our 40 offices located across the country. We can also schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with you online. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a fraternity hazing lawyer.
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