U of A investigates fraternity for alleged assault

U of A investigates fraternity for alleged assault

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now)

A University of Arizona fraternity was placed under interim suspension while some of its members are being investigated for an alleged assault on another fraternity.The university said Sigma Alpha Epsilon must stop all activity on campus while the investigation is ongoing. 

Authorities said Tucson Police were called out to an apartment where a member of SAE had a black eye on Friday, Nov. 14. They determined he was assaulted by a member of a different fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, also known as AEPi.

Police said the victim apparently rounded up dozens of his fraternity brothers and went to an apartment where several AEPi members live, banged on the door and yelled racial slurs. AEPi is a Jewish fraternity.

Four AEPi members were allegedly assaulted.

Police said despite racial slurs being used, this was not motivated as a hate crime.

Brothers at both fraternity houses said Monday night that they would not be commenting about the incident.

Students around campus had a mixed reaction to the news.

“I guess with SAE it's not too surprising" said Grant Hughes on his walk past the fraternity. "But still, it's kind of close to where we live.”

Kalia Anderson walked with him. She said the incident sounded awful, but likely attracted more attention because it involved members of Greek Life.

"I think they have a bigger responsibility to uphold the reputation of the campus, so it's really important that they not do things like this," she said.

Noah Ziskind said the individuals involved should be punished, but not the fraternities as a whole.

"If you do something stupid like that, that's your fault," said Ziskind. "Like you should get kicked out of the frat."

Max Mazur said he's had an interest in rushing a fraternity on campus, and this recent incident has him paying close attention to what organizations are up to off campus.

"I want to be part of a family, be happy all the time," he said. "I'm not trying to join a gang."

The freshman added that he believes administrators closely watching Greek organizations is not helping the situation.

"I think just trying to lock down on these frats and everything creates a lot more tension between the different kids," said Mazur.

This is not the first time SAE has been in trouble; The fraternity was already under interim suspension for possible hazing and alcohol violations in September.

SAE members have been directed to have no contact with AEPi members pending the outcome of the investigation. 

University officials have said that SAE will have a chance to respond to any findings of conduct violations. According to Dean of Students Kendall Washington White, the chapter's national office is aware of the allegations. The UA maintains an online listing of Greek organizations under judicial review to help students and families evaluate fraternities and sororities. It can be found at http://greek.arizona.edu/standards/chapter-conduct-and-judicial and is updated each semester. 

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