A UVa student was seriously injured after an alleged hazing incident

A UVa student was seriously injured after an alleged hazing incident

A University of Virginia student was seriously injured after a disturbing incident at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house in Charlottesville late Tuesday night.

The news was first reported by the Jefferson Independent, a conservative, student-run news outlet at Grounds, which reported that a sophomore transfer student pledging Kappa Sigma was drinking heavily at a fraternity house on Rugby Road when he fell backwards down the stairs and hit his head on the wall At the bottom. According to the publication, sources say that the student was admitted to the hospital while in a coma.

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Neither a UVa spokesperson nor a Kappa Sigma spokesperson denied the report when contacted by The Daily Progress.

UVa spokeswoman Bethany Glover said Kappa Sigma has been suspended pending the Division of Student Affairs’ investigation into the matter.

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“We take allegations of harassment very seriously and move quickly to investigate and take disciplinary action if necessary,” Glover told The Daily Progress in an email. “State and/or local law enforcement agencies investigate allegations of harassment under Virginia law. The Department of Student Affairs investigates allegations of harassment in accordance with university policy.

Glover said she cannot release any further information until the investigation is closed, including the student’s condition.

A spokesman for Kappa Sigma, whose national headquarters is located just south of the Charlottesville city limits, said the fraternity is aware of an injury. He did not provide any other details.

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“Our hopes and prayers are with our members for a speedy recovery,” Leo Brown told The Daily Progress via email.

Brown also offered a strong condemnation of hazing, which is not only expressly prohibited at UVa, but a crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Harassment is disgusting and will not be tolerated by Kappa Sigma Fraternity because it violates our code of conduct,” he said. “Kappa Sigma will take swift and severe action against members who are credibly involved in hazing.”

UVa report finds student groups guilty of harassment

The Daily Progress reached out to UVa’s Interfraternity Council, an independently run student organization that oversees Greek life at the university. The council did not respond.

There were several accounts of harassment within student organizations and clubs in 2022 that were reported to the University Judicial Committee, a student-run body that issues sanctions based on the findings of student affairs investigations.

In September 2022, the Women’s Gymnastics Club was accused of harassment at a “initiation” event where new members were instructed to perform various stunts and asked to take a shot of alcohol or water if they failed. In response, the Judiciary Committee required the group’s co-chairs to attend two meetings with a member of UVa administration from Student Involvement or Fraternity and Sorority Life and required all executive members to attend Hoos Against Hazing training.

UVA's adverse report is the first issued under Adam's Law

That same fall, incidents of harassment were reported through university directory services. According to reports, existing members forced new members to drink alcoholic beverages and served alcohol to underage members on several occasions. The Judiciary Committee decided that the group should create a central conduct document for all its members that includes anti-harassment expectations. University Directory Services must also hold a meeting each semester where these expectations are explained to members.

Tuesday’s incident at Kappa Sigma comes a little more than a week after Virginia lawmakers passed a bill requiring awareness and prevention training in public high schools in the commonwealth. Senate Bill 379 was approved two years after the passage of what is known as Adam’s Law, which mandates hazing training at all Virginia colleges. The bill is named after Virginia Commonwealth University student Adam Oakes who died in 2021 after a fraternity hazing incident.

Senate Bill 379 calls for the State Board of Education to approve the teaching of adverse learning approaches in ninth- or 10th-grade health and physical education classes.

Emily Hemphill (540) 855-0362


@EmilyHemphill06 on Twitter

    (Tags for translation) Law 

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