The Towson University chapter of Tau Alpha Epsilon has been temporarily been suspended by the school and Nationals after one of their pledges was hospitalized after an alleged hazing incident last month.
In an email sent to WBAL.com, a relative of the student said that as part of a hazing ritual, the student had to drink vinegar and pickle juice, and eat cat food. The mixture caused the student to vomit up blood and was taken to a hospital, it said, and was found to have suffered damage to his tongue, esophagus, intestinal lining and stomach.
Alex Baker, Chief Information Officer for Tau Kappa Epsilon, told USA Today the organization has suspended the chapter, and is investigating the alleged incident.
“Tau Kappa Epsilon does not condone hazing in any form,” says Baker. “These alleged actions do not align with our values of love, charity and esteem. We have temporarily suspended the Pi-Upsilon chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon. We are fully cooperating with the university and police investigations. If these allegations are found to be true, we will address the allegation swiftly and with appropriate action.”
Director of Communications for Towson University Ray Feldmann responded with this in an email to USA Today:
“We are aware of an off-campus incident involving a Towson University student that is currently under joint investigation by the Towson University Police Department and the Baltimore County Police Department,” Feldmann says. “Privacy issues prevent us from providing any additional details at this time. Towson University takes any allegation of hazing very seriously and deals with it swiftly. Our hazing policy is very clear: Hazing is against the law and is strictly prohibited.”
In Maryland hazing is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of $500.
As of April 5th the student still remained in the hospital. The university is working with Baltimore County Police to investigate the incident. Our thoughts go out to him and we hope for a full recovery.
Lead Image Credit: Jimmy Emerson (flickr.com CC)