It is clear from the student handbook that hazing of any kind will not be tolerated by ACU. The book even goes so far as to say that ACU’s standards for hazing go beyond Texas state law standards for hazing. But recently, the men’s fraternity Galaxy has been placed on loose suspension for just one year, despite having two offenses, one specifically regarded as hazing and one that is likely the product of hazing.
The fraternity was also under investigation for hazing just last semester, and although it was concluded that Galaxy’s actions last semester were not intended to haze, the fraternity was not so lucky this time around. From the very beginning of the investigation, the ACU community has been kept updated with emails from President Phil Schubert about the fraternity being investigated for a potentially racially motivated hazing incident. Although investigators concluded that the fraternity’s frequent compulsion to mistreat its members has nothing to do with skin color, the fraternity was still found guilty of hazing.
However, the one-year punishment is not just for the paintball incident – it is also for “a second more recent event,” according to Vice President for Enrollment and Student Life Tamara Long ’s email that went out to the campus. At this point, it seems most likely that this second event is the incident involving two Novas, Galaxy pledges, brutally killing a goat belonging to Sub-T-16 in an inhumane way.
Although this may have been an act of a couple individuals, the behaviors may be a result of hazing and the type of pack mentality the fraternity environment can create. For example, pack mentality could have included the use of social media to egg on the pledges to break Texas state law and violate ACU’s student handbook policy to kill the goat.
Stated in ACU’s policy statement on hazing, hazing includes “any activity that induces, causes or requires the student to perform a duty or task which involves a violation of the Penal Code.” According to Sec. 42.09 of the Texas Penal Code, the two pledges should be facing criminal charges for their actions if they are found guilty, and so should the organization of Galaxy.
These two incidents, in addition to the fact that Galaxy was under investigation last year, show that the fraternity has not learned its lesson as there continues to be a theme of disregard for ACU student handbook policy and Texas hazing law. If ACU is really committed to taking a stand against hazing, Galaxy’s punishment should be reconsidered to be more severe so that the punishment fits the crime.