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Gazette Premium Content UConn bans second Greek organization over hazing

Associated Press Updated: May 13, 2014 at 11:03 am

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The University of Connecticut has banned a second Greek organization over a hazing episode in which a woman says she was forced to lie on the floor and "sizzle like bacon" and then drink alcohol until she passed out.

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity joins the banned sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, which had its registration and recognition revoked last week over the same incident. The university says the hazing of sorority members occurred at Sigma Alpha Epsilon's off-campus house in March.

The fraternity won't be allowed to reapply as a student organization for at least five years. That is a year longer than the punishment meted out to Kappa Kappa Gamma.

"Our mission is to provide a first-rate learning environment, and as our actions in response to this event indicate, we take this very seriously," Stephanie Reitz, a school spokeswoman, said in statement Monday.

Kappa Kappa Gamma has until Wednesday to appeal the ruling. SAE was given until May 19.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon spokesman Brandon Weghorst said the national fraternity has no tolerance for hazing among its member chapters.

"We view our relationship with universities as a partnership and, as such, Sigma Alpha Epsilon may appeal the length of the suspension so that we may return to campus with a new group of men in the near future," he said in a statement Tuesday.

UConn sophomore and Kappa Kappa Gamma member Hillary Holt says she and others were taken to the fraternity house on March 6 and forced to commit humiliating acts, including being told to lie on the floor and pretend to "sizzle like bacon." She said she was then pressured to drink alcohol to the point of passing out.

Holt said she woke up in a hospital and was told her blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08.

It's not the first time SAE has faced sanctions at UConn. The fraternity was placed on probation in 2004 after the reported theft of some snacks from a local convenience store. It was given a warning in 2007 for damage caused to a university meeting room. And in 2010, the fraternity was placed on probation again after it was determined that several members riding on its homecoming float were intoxicated and one of them had urinated on another organization's float.

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