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SUNY Canton places fraternity on interim suspension for hazing allegation

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CANTON - SUNY Canton college officials have placed the Zeta Alpha Phi (ZAP) fraternity and all of its members on interim suspension due to an alleged hazing incident, according to a new release issued by the college Wednesday evening.

The organization will be undergoing a full review and investigation by the college. Members involved will be facing a judicial board hearing to determine whether they will be allowed to remain students.

“I am disgusted and appalled by the alleged actions of some of the members of Zeta Alpha Phi,” SUNY Canton Acting President Joseph C. Hoffman said in a statement. “Their actions certainly do not reflect the overall conduct of our students or the rest of the College’s Greek community.”

The incident of hazing reportedly occurred last week at an off-campus non-sanctioned residence. University Police are currently interviewing fraternity members, in conjunction with the Canton Village Police Department.

According to Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish the college’s policy on hazing is clearly outlined in the student handbook.

“We strictly enforce a zero tolerance policy for acts of physical violence, including hazing and bullying, in any form,” Bish said in a statement. “The allegations we are hearing are not, nor will ever be, considered acceptable behavior for any organization affiliated with SUNY Canton. We will be working with University Police and local law enforcement agencies to fully investigate the allegations.”

Bish said that currently none of the other students involved with the college’s other fraternities or sororities have been reported for hazing.

“Many of our fraternities and sororities have dedicated considerable time and energy in volunteer service to our local community,” she said. “Our students participate in events such as Phantoms in the Park [sponsored by the Canton Chamber of Commerce] and volunteer each Friday evening at the Grace Episcopal Church’s Soup Kitchen. We take great pride in our students, and it is discouraging that a small group of people could in any way tarnish the reputation of the greater population.”

Bish alerted SUNY Canton students, faculty and staff of the alleged incident, and she encouraged the greater campus community to be aware of students’ overall well-being. Those wishing to report suspected abuse, hazing or bullying are encouraged to contact SUNY Canton University Police at 386-7777.

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