Carleton College announced Friday that it has suspended 13 students for “serious violations of the college’s student code of conduct,” stemming from an alleged hazing incident.
A release, written by Associate Vice President for External Relations Joe Hargis, stated that the incident took place during the early hours of April 28 and involved “hazing and extreme alcohol consumption as part of initiation into a secret, co-ed social club.” In addition, Carleton officials acknowledged an allegation of a sexual assault following the alleged hazing.
The students involved were suspended Thursday for three trimesters, which includes this spring trimester, in addition to next winter and fall. The students may appeal the suspensions.
“The actions of the individuals involved in the hazing incident compromised the safety of at least 13 fellow students and violated policies and standards that require all members of the Carleton community to be treated with care, respect and dignity,” the release said. “These include policies that strictly forbid hazing and other conduct that threaten the health, well-being and safety of oneself, and fellow community members.”
In an interview with the Northfield News, Hargis said college staff knows little about the “co-ed social club,” of which, the students were reportedly holding an initiation. Hargis confirmed the club is not college-sponsored. He said the students referred to it as DTX, which he said is a reference to the Delta Tau Xi fraternity in the movie, “Animal House.”
“This is not a college-sponsored club,” Hargis said. “Carleton has never had any fraternities, sororities. It’s not part of our culture.”
Students involved in the purported hazing incident did not report any long-term physical injuries, but Hargis said some of the students had become severely intoxicated and may have been affected psychologically.
“The intent of the planners was to provide copious amounts of alcohol to participants, which resulted in extreme intoxication for some of them,” he said in the interview.
Hargis confirmed that the group of suspended students is a mix of males and females. The release also noted the suspended students would be expected to engage in alcohol education and community service work.
A letter to the Carleton College campus was also sent out Friday by President Steven Poskanzer and Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Carolyn Livingston. In the letter, they asked anyone with information about the incident to contact the Dean of Students office.
They said staff was “greatly troubled by these events.”
“Hazing is a serious problem at colleges and universities around the country. Carleton has strong policies prohibiting hazing. We will not condone such behavior,” the letter stated. “Further, we will examine and strengthen our education programs and awareness about hazing and alcohol abuse as we move forward.”
Reach Reporter Philip Weyhe at 507-333-3132 or follow him on Twitter @nfnphilweyhe.