By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
An appeal made by the EKU men’s rugby team after being suspended following a university hazing investigation has been denied by the school.
EKU spokesperson Marc Whitt announced Wednesday that the appeal had been denied.
The campus rugby club was suspended for two years in mid-November after the investigation of 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 reported.
In its appeal letter, the EKU Men’s Rugby Club provided the university’s hazing committee with what the team called “additional pertinent information,” according to the university’s denial of the appeal.
In the appeal documents, the club submitted an affidavit signed by several club members stating “they have never experienced, seen or heard of the EKU Men’s Rugby Club hazing anyone as defined by the university.”
In its denial, the university’s appeal authority said it did not consider the documents as “additional pertinent information.”
The club’s appeal letter also included a typed statement from a person whose name was blacked out in the university’s letter of response.
The university claims that person wrote: “I was intoxicated the night the blood was found in my room and anything I said was just trying to be tough, nothing said by me that night can be taken serious due to the fact that I was an intoxicated minor.”
Claire Good, interim vice president for student affairs and dean of students wrote: “I find this statement to be a very unfortunate indication that the very organization that describes itself as being an extremely close knit group allowed an underage member to reach this level of intoxication.”
In addition to the suspension in effect until 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 educational session on hazing before Oct. 1, 2014.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6608.