Virginia Tech’s Theta Iota chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has been banned from campus for 10 years for abusive conduct and hazing after a pledge reported that he and his fellow pledges had been blindfolded and beaten up as part of a hazing ritual.

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In a letter from the University to the national fraternity organization, administrators also recommend that the school’s first black Greek organization have its charter officially revoked and suspended for a decade. The chapter’s website is currently down.

Physical violence at black fraternities has been well-documented. In 2010, Lawrence C. Ross Jr., author of The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities, told the New York Times, “Most predominantly white fraternities and sororities haze around alcohol, but African-American fraternities and sororities typically haze around something physical, violent.”

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The Roanoke Times reports that fraternity investigators interviewed the pledge about his experience from January 21 to 26, which eventually resulted in his hospitalization and withdrawing from school:

According to the pledge’s account, detailed in a national fraternity letter: He and five other pledges were picked up from a Virginia Tech parking garage, blindfolded and taken elsewhere at 9 p.m. Jan. 21. The blindfolds then were removed and the group was quizzed about fraternity history, the pledge said. When one got a question wrong, all six were attacked. The process lasted until 5 a.m. and was repeated Jan. 23, 24 and 25. The man said he went to class at 9 a.m. Jan. 26 but before his second class at 11 a.m., he turned ill and vomited.

The five other pledges have corroborated his account.


Image of Virginia Tech campus via Rui Serra Maia/Shutterstock.