UB suspends Tau Kappa Epsilon
Published: Monday, November 23, 2009
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
The University at Buffalo suspended fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon after Buffalo police broke up a party early Friday morning at a fraternity residence on Merrimac Street where four people were arrested and two were hospitalized.
Student Affairs issued the fraternity's suspension on Friday night amid hazing allegations.
'The fraternity involved in the hazing has been suspended by the university and may be subject to additional disciplinary action following the conclusion of the criminal investigation,' said UB Senior Director of Media Relations John Della Contrada.
TKE President Dane Counts thinks the suspension is an attempt for UB to cover itself legally amid the charges against the social fraternity.
'The suspension is a precautionary measure for [the university],' Counts said. 'We are not being kicked off the campus. We are waiting to get a hearing.'
Police arrived at 82 Merrimac around 1:30 a.m. on Friday in response to a noise complaint and found 30 minors drinking. Authorities arrested and charged four members with hazing in the first degree. Two of the arrested were UB students.
The two apprehended students were sophomore psychology major Steven Pehta and sophomore business major Matthew C. Smith.
Della Contrada could not comment on the individual status of the students, citing privacy laws. However, students arrested or being investigated for hazing are normally suspended pending an on-campus hearing, he said.
'The University at Buffalo has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing and will aggressively pursue any reports of hazing,' Della Contrada said.
Counts said no hazing occurred at the party and that this will show up in the investigation.
'Safety is the most important thing to our chapter and we're upset about the allegations of hazing because that's something we strive against,' Counts said. 'We are against hazing and [are] cooperating with the university and police to clear this up so we can get back to our philanthropy events.'
Michael J. Johnson, 33, and Jacob Glaser, 20, both of the Town of Tonawanda, were also arrested. Johnson was also charged with prohibited sales to minors. According to Counts, Johnson and Glaser are TKE members from other colleges.
Two unidentified men were also sent from the party to the Erie County Medical Center. According to Buffalo Police spokesman Mike DeGeorge, alcohol consumption may have played a strong role in their hospitalization.
'We're regretful about the night and resent what happened and we're happy that our brothers sent to the hospital are safe and healthy,' Counts said.