Hazing at University of Texas Left Fellowship Promises “Permanently Disfigured”, Lawsuit Says
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Two Texas A&M University students claim in a lawsuit they suffered chemical burns in a fraternity hazing incident.
Patrick Close and Jose Figueroa, former pawns of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, are asking for $ 1 million in the October 18 lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court. They claim that members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, commonly known as SAE, violated the Texas anti-hazing statue.
The students claim in the lawsuit that they promised fellowship during the spring semester when they were “forced to do various kinaesthetic activities.” At least eight of the fellowship members then poured “various foreign substances on them,” the lawsuit says.
“The substances poured on Close and Figueroa included human saliva, raw eggs, paint, food condiments and ultimately the industrial cleaner known as SC-200,” according to the lawsuit.
The SC-200 is intended for industrial and institutional use only and may cause “severe skin burns and eye damage”. People exposed to the chemical are advised to rinse their skin immediately.
Close and Figueroa suffered serious burns and were taken to a Houston hospital for “emergency skin graft surgery,” according to the lawsuit.
“Close and Figueroa are both permanently disfigured from the burns they suffered,” the lawsuit said. They will likely need additional medical treatment, lawyers said in the lawsuit.
Texas A&M’s SAE chapter was suspended for two years on Wednesday, followed by two years of probation, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
“Texas A&M will not tolerate actions or behavior that degrades, intimidates, humiliates or endangers students,” university spokeswoman Kelly Brown told the publication. “We will continue our hazing prevention education programs, which include describing what constitutes hazing and the consequences of these poor choices. Hazing is a violation of the Texas A&M Code of Student Conduct, student organization policies, and Texas State law.
Both the CAS National Chapter and its Local Chapter were named in the lawsuit, along with the following members: Austin Marshall, George Jarkesy, Dylan Vacek, Ryan Pugh, Andrew Mitchell, Kaleb Snodgrass, Cole Gerletti, and Jorge Garza.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon did not comment on the lawsuit in a statement to A&M student newspaper The Battalion.
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