Arkansas Tech suspends Kappa Alpha Psi chapter, as school police probe hazing
An Arkansas Tech University student remains in serious condition in a Little Rock hospital after sustaining injuries in an alleged fraternity hazing incident last week.
The fraternity has been suspended by the university pending the outcome of an investigation by Arkansas State Police and the school’s Office of Public Safety.
According to a statement released by Tech officials Monday, authorities are investigating to determine if the student, Deshawn Scoggins, was a victim of a hazing incident involving the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Scoggins was listed in serious condition by a University of Arkansas for Medical Science hospital spokesperson Friday afternoon. Scoggins is not listed in Tech’s online student directory.
The release says ATU officials learned of the injuries Saturday.
According to Arkansas law, hazing can range from “the playing of abusive or truculent tricks on or off the property of any school, college, university or other educational institution in Arkansas” to any act “by one student alone or acting with others in striking, beating, bruising, or maiming.”
Arkansas statute 6-5-203 classifies hazing as a class B misdemeanor. Fifth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons said if hazing is found to be the cause of the student’s injuries, the extent of those injuries and what weapons were used to cause them could carry felony battery charges.
The misdemeanor is punishable by expulsion from the school, according to the statute.
The university’s student handbook defines hazing as “an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization.” The handbook lists several sanctions for hazing, ranging from a warning or probation to monetary fines, restitution, denial of credit or degree, or suspension or expulsion.
The handbook also states each student organization is required to sign a statement which states they understand the definition and penalties of hazing.