The Richmond Register

Local News

November 16, 2012

EKU suspends rugby club two years for hazing that caused injury

RICHMOND — Eastern Kentucky University on Thursday suspended a campus rugby club for two years after investigating a hazing incident in which a student suffered an injury that caused bleeding.

A freshman agreed to be paddled with a board more than 3 feet long for his initiation into the club, according to a news release from the university. Club members refer to the board as “Betsy.”

The initiation rite has been a common practice for at least two years, the university’s hazing investigation panel found. Initiates have the option of being paddled with their pants up or down, although the report didn’t indicate whether the initiate was wearing pants when paddled. Club members are considered part of the “brotherhood” after being paddled.

Investigators found that a sharp object in the board punctured the initiate’s skin and blood was found in his room from the wound.

The initiate told investigators he was drunk when the paddling took place and said the incident “wasn’t a big deal because everyone does it to be part of the group.”

In addition to the suspension that ends Aug. 18, 2014, the club will be on probation until the beginning of the 2016 spring semester. All members of the club also will have to undergo and fund an education session on hazing before Oct. 1, 2014.

Men’s rugby needs to understand that hazing will not be tolerated on the EKU campus,” the hazing committee stated in its report.

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