Nine members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at the University of Florida in Gainesville, are facing misdemeanor hazing charges after they allegedly struck and paddled five pledges and hitting them in the chest during a hazing ritual known as “thunderslaps.” If convicted, the could be incarcerated for a year and fined $1,000. They could also be suspended or expelled. The incident allegedly occurred between January 22 and February 1 in a Gainesville home where several fraternity members resided.
Charges were filed against Safo Agyemang, 26; Metkel Beiene, 22; Chad Billington II, 22; Brandon Daniel, 21; Gregory Davis, 22; Jason Dubery, 23; Dominique Martin, 21; Christoper Jenkins, 22; and Gary Terrell, 24. All the suspects were UF students at the time of the alleged hazing except for Agyemang, who is an alumnus, the Gainesville Sun reports. The State Attorney’s office dropped charges against one fraternity member, Bryan Mizell, who was named in the police complaint, for insufficient evidence, the newspaper said.
I have never understood the relevance of hazing in any social organization. It’s just plain crazy. I remember as an undergraduate student at Ohio University, one of my roommates pledged Delta Sigma Theta, she could not speak to me because she was on social silence. The most disturbing thing about these organizations is that once you go through the initiation process, your grades suffer. Pledging a sorority or fraternity isn’t the reason one goes to college. It’s to get an education.