"We're a fun loving fraternity": UA fraternity denies hazing allegations

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"We're a fun loving fraternity": UA fraternity denies hazing allegations

CREATED Sep 3, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Another University of Arizona fraternity bites the dust. University officials booted the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity off campus for multiple violations of off-campus conduct including hazing, alcohol violations and the threat of student harm.

The fraternity brothers say it's a bunch of lies.

9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked chapter president Billy Dimitri if he ever experienced or witness hazing. He replied, "No, not that I'm aware of."

The university says it was made aware of several instances of misconduct. It investigated further and decided to permanently remove the chapter from the university. Officials say the "Tekes" hazed by forcing new members to drink to the point of vomiting.

Benito asked fraternity member Shervin Iman Khan if he or any of his brothers were ever in any danger. He replied, "Absolutely not. We're a fun loving fraternity, we're all good friends here. There's no hierarchy."

9OYS wants to know if they in fact didn't haze, what exactly went into initiation?

"You have to be in the fraternity," said Dimitri.

No one in the house answered 9OYS's questions concerning specifics on the process.

"If they [the rituals] weren't secret, then fraternities and sororities wouldn't be exclusive," said Khan.

Tau Kappa Epsilon became the third fraternity booted off campus in 2012 alone. In January, Phi Kappa Psi was stripped of recognition. Then in April, Delta Chi was kicked off too. All three were accused of hazing.

"It's a real bummer," Dimitri said. "We were all looking forward to rush. We just got this new house. We were painting it and everything. Then we get hit with this. It's a morale killer."

The fraternity members plan to appeal the decision in 20 days. They maintain their innocence and claim the investigation is based on the word of several "disgruntled" former members disavowed over the summer.

The University released this statement to 9OYS:

"The University of Arizona is committed to hosting viable values based fraternities and sororities and to our no tolerance policy around hazing. Hazing has no place in our student organizations and we want students to feel safe and confident that they will have a hazing free process when joining any campus organization. The University has a long tradition of a strong Greek community and will continue to welcome Greek organizations that support the values and mission of our university, while promoting the health and safety of UA students."