Records show WSU fraternity engaged in hazing

Chapter lost recognition for one month; required to attend hazing and bystander prevention program



Alpha Sigma Phi’s new members were told to consume alcohol quickly in a parking lot near NE Terre View then run to Jack in the Box afterward.

LOREN NEGRON, Evergreen editor-in-chief

Records show that WSU’s Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity engaged in hazing during a new member activity in March, which led to its loss of recognition.

The fraternity’s hazing violation is noted in the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life’s spring 2020 chapter report card. The fraternity gained back their recognition in June.

Around 1:30 a.m. March 7, new members of Alpha Sigma Phi were notified of a new member meeting scheduled for 11:30 a.m. that same day, according to the records. They were told the meeting was required and that pledge points were “extremely important.” All new members were under 21 years old.

New members were picked up at the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education parking garage. They stayed in the vehicle while other fraternity members purchased six “tallboys” or 24 ounce beers, and other alcohol at a gas station, according to the records.

After purchasing the alcohol, members were driven to an apartment parking lot near the intersection of NE Terre View Drive and N Grand Avenue. Each new member was given five minutes to finish one tallboy, according to the records. They resisted, so instead, they were given 10 minutes to consume their beers.

All new members vomited in the parking lot, according to the records. They were instructed to run from the apartment parking lot to Jack in the Box, which was about a mile away. Upon arriving, new members were offered the opportunity to drink again. They declined.

Alpha Sigma Phi’s chapter leadership was involved in the hazing incident, according to the records. One of the chapter leaders was asked to step down from his position. The individual is no longer associated with the organization.

Chapter members involved in the incident reported the hazing to CFSL. The report was forwarded to WSU’s Center for Community Standards, according to the records.

The Center for Community Standards found that Alpha Sigma Phi violated university standards, according to the obtained records.

Under the Washington Administrative Code, WSU students and student organizations are prohibited from planning or participating in hazing.

WAC defines hazing as any initiation method that causes or is likely to cause physical, mental or emotional harm to an individual, which includes alcohol abuse during new member activities.

The records show the fraternity lost recognition from May 1 to 31. Loss of recognition means a fraternity cannot identify itself as an organization within WSU.

Typically, hazing violations would result in a fraternity losing its recognition for a few years, said Andrew Thomas, 2020 director of public relations for WSU’s Interfraternity Council.

“I would say that Alpha Sigma Phi losing recognition for the short amount of time that … was definitely a unique situation,” he said.

The fraternity was still an associate IFC member at the time of the incident, Thomas said. The fraternity still does not have full IFC membership because they do not meet all the requirements.

The executive board of the fraternity’s national headquarters immediately suspended the two fraternity members who organized the activity, wrote Danny Miller, senior director of prevention and accountability for Alpha Sigma Phi, in an email.

“It is regrettable that these two Brothers made a choice that was antithetical to our values that we hold dear as an organization,” Miller wrote. “Alpha Sigma Phi is a non-hazing organization and actions that go against this stated principle will be immediately addressed.”

The Daily Evergreen reached out to Erik Torres, Alpha Sigma Phi’s president at the time of the incident, but he did not respond in time for publication. 

After the fraternity gained back recognition on June 1, members were required to attend monthly meetings with an adviser for one academic year. Alpha Sigma Phi is under disciplinary and social probations as well. This means the fraternity is limited in the number of events it can host with alcohol during its first semester after gaining recognition, according to the records.

All fraternity members are required to participate in Responsible SIG, the fraternity’s hazing and bystander prevention program, according to the records. Dan Welter, CFSL director, will co-facilitate as needed.

“As we move forward, we have re-developed our membership orientation program and created a shared vision for our Brotherhood,” Miller wrote. “We look forward to continuing to utilize our campus resources to be a strong organization at Washington State for years to come.”