A Syracuse University fraternity has been suspended and two of its members arrested after a suspected hazing incident that may cost one student four of his fingers.
Three pledges from Nu Alpha Phi took part in what was called “forced exercises” at a park near campus shortly after midnight on Monday. The exercises, which lasted about a half-hour and included push-ups, took place in 19-degree cold with snow on the ground, police said. The pledges were not wearing gloves.
Later that day, one of the pledges went to the hospital, complaining of pain in his hands. Police said he was diagnosed with severe frostbite. He is in danger of losing his ring and pinkie fingers on each hand, police said.
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Syracuse police arrested Tae Kim, 19, and Jeffrey Yam, 21, both members of the fraternity, on charges of first-degree hazing. They were released and ordered back to court in two weeks.
Authorities said the two uninjured pledges are not cooperating with their investigation. In a statement, the university said it has “zero tolerance for any form of hazing and takes this matter extremely seriously.”
In November, an 18-year-old student at West Virginia University died after being blindfolded and forced to drink large quantities of alcohol. And in January, a former student at Florida A&M was sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter and felony hazing following the death of a drum major in 2011.
— Stephanie Gosk