SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) - Twenty students at Texas State University are accused participating in a hazing ritual in which several underage fraternity pledges were taken blindfolded to a San Marcos apartment and forced to drink large quantities of alcohol.
According to affidavits from the university police department, leaders of the campus Sigma Nu fraternity enlisted the help of several female students to round up Sigma Nu pledges on the evening of Sept. 12.
The female students were instructed to tie blindfolds on the pledges, most of who were freshman, so that they would not know where they were being taken, the affidavits said.
Once they arrived at a garage in an apartment complex in the 100 block of Craddock Avenue in San Marcos, the pledges were instructed to strip down to their underwear, sit on the floor and to drink various alcoholic beverages, the documents said.
Several of the pledges drank so much that they vomited, according to police.
Over the course of two weeks, university police arrested 10 fraternity members and 10 sorority members on Class B misdemeanor charges of hazing or failure to report hazing.
It was unclear on Thursday what disciplinary action the university might take. But on Sept. 19, the university sent a "Hazing Memorandum" to all students and faculty members outlining state law and university policy on the topic of hazing.
Among the activities prohibited under state law in the memo included, "Any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance which subjects the student to an unreasonable risk or harm or which adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student."
The possible disciplinary actions listed in the memo are:
- Disciplinary probation
- Withholding grades, official transcript or degree
- Bar against readmission or drop from current enrollment and bar against readmission
- Required participation in specific educational programs
- Suspension of rights and privileges
- Revocation of degree, denial of degree and/or withdrawal of diploma.
Attorney David Hardaway, who is representing several of the students arrested, disputed accusations that hazing was in play and said it was not an official Greek event.
"It was just kids getting together and hanging out," Hardaway said. "There has to be an element of trying to make somebody feel stupid or harm somebody, something of that nature, in order for it to constitute hazing."
Students told Hardaway everything was voluntary and no one was forced to do anything they did not want to do.
"Nobody is doing news stories about minors drinking or minors being furnished with alcohol, but when you drop the dirty "H" word all of a sudden it's newsworthy because people want to line up and find ways to embarrass the Greek community," said Hardaway.
The female students named in the case are:
- Armita Gina Adibi, 19, Zeta Tau Alpha, Failure to report hazing
- Laney Alexis Betancourt, 18, no sorority named, Hazing
- Moriah Anne Guerra, 18, Zeta Tau Alpha, Hazing
- Allison Kay McGlamory, 20, Zeta Tau Alpha, Hazing
- Sierra Jena Moore, 20, Zeta Tau Alpha, Failure to report hazing
- Lindsey Vittone Rose, 20, Zeta Tau Alpha, Failure to report hazing
- Michelle Christine Witte, 19, Zeta Tau Alpha, Failure to report hazing
- Staci Lynn Edwards, 18, Hazing
- Samantha Rose Moreno, 20, Hazing
- Monica Renee Rickenbacher, 21, Hazing
The male students named are:
- Zachary James Balod, 20, Sigma Nu, Hazing
- Joshua Tyler Corley, 19, Sigma Nu, Hazing
- Kevin Cruz, 19, Sigma Nu pledge, Hazing
- Wesley Madding Miller, 20, Sigma Nu recruitment chair, Hazing
- Thomas Ryan Sewell, 23, Sigma Nu New Member Educator/House Manager, Hazing
- Zakary Warren Widener, 22, Failure to report hazing
- Scott Aaron Tally, 19, Sigma Nu pledge, Failure to report hazing
- Albert Arnold Moreno, 20, Hazing
- Nathan Pena, 18, Hazing
- Marcus Aurelius Rodriguez, 22, Hazing
Most recently, Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity was issued a penalty in July for hazing. The organization is on Deferred Suspension through Summer 2012 and will be eligible to return to good standing, pending completion of sanctions in the fall semester of 2012.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.