Two Texas A&M students file lawsuit against fraternity following alleged hazing
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Two Texas A&M students are suing a fraternity and some of its members for more than $1 million following an alleged hazing incident last spring. The students say they suffered severe skins burns during a pledging event for Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE).
According to the petition filed in Harris County on October 18, the freshman students were chosen by SAE to pledge the fraternity. The lawsuit says on March 29, 2021, the students were taken into the SAE House barn and forced to do various kinesthetic activities. That’s also when the students say several substances were poured on them: human spit, raw eggs, paint, food condiments and an industrial-strength cleaner known as SC-200.
Court documents state the students, “experienced serious bodily injuries, including severe burns as a result of the SC-200. SC-200 is a high alkaline, solvent-based, extra heavy-duty industrial cleaner with a Category 1 GHS Classification. It can corrode metal and causes severe skin burns. Users are warned to utilize Personal Protective Equipment when using the product,” says the plaintiffs’ petition.
The lawsuit goes on to say the students were taken to Houston for emergency skin graft surgery and later had to undergo a second surgery. It says the students, “are both permanently disfigured as a result of the burns they endured at the hands of the Defendants.”
Eight fraternity members, the local chapter of SAE (Texas Tau Chapter) and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, Inc. have been named as defendants. Among the allegations, the lawsuit claims there was negligence for violation of the Texas anti-hazing statute, and failure to report the incidents of hazing to appropriate law enforcement agencies and Texas A&M University officials.
Thursday a university spokesperson confirmed the fraternity is suspended for two years. They will be on probation for two years following the suspension. We also received a statement that says, “Texas A&M will not tolerate actions or behavior that degrades, intimidates, humiliates or endangers students. We will continue our hazing prevention education programs, which include outlining what constitutes hazing and the consequences for such poor choices. Hazing is a violation of Texas A&M’s Student Code of Conduct, student organization policies and Texas state law.”
They also shared the following resources: The Student Conduct Process is outlined here and the range of sanctions here; the Student Conduct Office outlines resources for students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents and others.
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