Nine Boston University students believed to be members of the fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi are under investigation after the Boston Police Department discovered five apparent pledges covered in red welts, missing chunks of hair where their heads had been shaved, and "dressed only in their underwear standing in the [fraternity house's] basement, covered with various food ingredients and with their hands bound together." This news is unfortunate, but not exactly shocking, as the same fraternity was involved in another alleged hazing last month that sent a group of heavily intoxicated girls in the sorority Sigma Delta Tau to the hospital.
Coincidentally, Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore announced yesterday — only hours before police found the AEPi pledges with their pants down — that, as a result of the first hazing, some members of AEPi would be sanctioned and perhaps suspended. Why did the administration, which immediately suspended SDT after the first incident, wait longer to take action against AEPi? Unlike SDT, AEPi isn't recognized by Boston University, which means it couldn't have been suspended — but the administration could have publicly announced their involvement.
Earlier this year, Boston University officials waited until a second ice hockey team member was charged with sexual assault before launching an internal investigation, and it's clear by the way they're reacting to the hazing that they don't want to develop a reputation for acting too little, too late. BU spokesperson Colin Riley told the Boston Globe today that the students involved will definitely face the university's judicial board. "Just because it happened off campus, it doesn't mean they'll go unpunished,'' Riley said. "There are alleged victims here who we care about, and hazing is illegal here in Massachusetts.'' It's promising that the administration is responding to this recent incident — the latest of many at Boston University — with harsh words instead of silence.