Sus­pen­sion of ac­tiv­i­ties at UB to last un­til fall

Panel to rec­om­mend changes in Greek life

The Buffalo News - - CITY&REGION - By Aaron Besecker

Ac­tiv­i­ties of Greek-let­ter fra­ter­ni­ties and soror­i­ties will be sus­pended at the Univer­sity at Buf­falo at least un­til the start of the fall se­mes­ter as the univer­sity con­ducts an in­ter­nal re­view fol­low­ing a sus­pected case of haz­ing, UB an­nounced Mon­day.

Rec­om­men­da­tions from a yet-to-be­named panel are due by the start of the fall se­mes­ter, said A. Scott We­ber, vice pres­i­dent for stu­dent life.

The com­mit­tee, which will be chaired by Grad­u­ate School of Ed­u­ca­tion Dean Suzanne Rosen­blith, will con­sist of be­tween 10 and 15 mem­bers, in­clud­ing stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff, We­ber said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence on North Cam­pus.

The work to be un­der­taken by the Greek life re­view com­mit­tee will in­clude look­ing at ed­u­ca­tional strate­gies re­gard­ing the univer­sity’s “zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy” on haz­ing, as well as health and safety pro­grams for fra­ter­ni­ties and soror­i­ties, in­clud­ing anti-haz­ing and “Good Sa­mar­i­tan” poli­cies.

The com­mit­tee will also re­view the cul­ture of Greek life at UB more gen­er­ally and as­sess its re­la­tion­ship to “univer­sity val­ues,” We­ber said.

We­ber called it the “right time” for such a re­view.

“At this time, it was re­ally im­por­tant to take a time­out,” he said.

UB sus­pended all ac­tiv­i­ties for Greek or­ga­ni­za­tions Fri­day af­ter learn­ing from Buf­falo po­lice that an 18-year-old fresh­man suf­fered car­diac ar­rest fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent at a house as­so­ci­ated with the Sigma Pi fra­ter­nity on Custer Street early that morn­ing.

Se­bas­tian Ser­afin-Bazan, of Westch­ester County, re­mains in crit­i­cal con­di­tion at Buf­falo Gen­eral Med­i­cal Cen­ter, according to Buf­falo po­lice.

Pre­lim­i­nary tox­i­col­ogy tests showed no drugs or al­co­hol in Ser­afin-Bazan’s sys­tem, according to two po­lice sources.

Fra­ter­nity brothers are be­lieved to have or­dered Ser­afin-Bazan to per­form ex­er­cises in­side the house Thurs­day night and into Fri­day morn­ing when

he be­gan to experience phys­i­cal dis­tress, the sources said.

The 18-year-old also had re­cently been treated for a res­pi­ra­tory ail­ment, pos­si­bly the flu, they said.

A neigh­bor told The Buf­falo News she was told by one of the fra­ter­nity brothers that Ser­afinBazan was car­ried out­side to get fresh air af­ter he fell and hit the back of his head on a cof­fee ta­ble.

An­other neigh­bor said he saw four or five peo­ple carry a per­son from the house and place him on the front lawn. One of those in­di­vid­u­als stayed while the oth­ers fled.

In a state­ment Mon­day, Buf­falo Po­lice said the de­part­ment is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether or not drugs and/or al­co­hol played a role in what hap­pened.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volves Buf­falo homi­cide de­tec­tives, Univer­sity at Buf­falo po­lice and state troop­ers, Buf­falo Po­lice Capt. Jeff Ri­naldo said.

Po­lice ask any­one who may have in­for­ma­tion to call or text the de­part­ment’s con­fi­den­tial tip line at 847-2255.

The fra­ter­nity Sigma Pi, which lists 111 ac­tive chap­ters on its web­site, on Fri­day “learned of a re­ported al­le­ga­tion of health & safety pol­icy vi­o­la­tions at Ep­silon-Omi­cron Chap­ter at the Univer­sity at Buf­falo that led to the in­jury of a pledge,” Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Jonathan M. Frost said in an emailed state­ment. “We take such al­le­ga­tions very se­ri­ously and our prayers go out to him and his fam­ily.”

Erie County Dis­trict At­tor­ney John J. Flynn pre­vi­ously said the fra­ter­nity’s lawyer asked to re­view the Buf­falo Po­lice homi­cide squad’s files on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The DA said he would not per­mit that.

Frost took is­sue with that char­ac­ter­i­za­tion.

“Con­trary to prior re­port­ing, our gen­eral coun­sel has not yet ini­ti­ated our in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion due to the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­ducted by the Buf­falo Po­lice De­part­ment,” Frost said in the state­ment. “We are in touch with the de­part­ment and once it con­cludes its factfind­ing, our gen­eral coun­sel will be­gin our in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine if any pol­icy vi­o­la­tions oc­curred and if cor­rec­tive ac­tion is war­ranted.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.