Student faces board on hazing charge
Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity will learn standing next week
Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 00:11
Ahmad Alashi, former West Virginia University Student Government Association governor, will face a Student Conduct Board hearing Wednesday for his involvement in an alleged hazing incident that happened at the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity Nov. 14.
The Student Conduct Board can punish Alashi, a junior international student industrial engineering major, with anything from a warning letter to possible expulsion from the University.
According to reports, University Police Department officers entered the fraternity house, located at 672 North High St., at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 14 after hearing music and seeing an open door. There they found pledges blindfolded and covered in food.
Alashi, who is a Phi Sigma Kappa member, was allegedly slapping those blindfolded in the face. He also ran from police once he was reprimanded and was identified by the other nine members involved.
A warrant was out for Alashi's arrest, and he turned himself in later that afternoon.
SGA President Chris Lewallen said he will testify as a character witness on Alashi's behalf during Wednesday's conduct meeting.
"I just hope he can continue to go to school here," Lewallen said.
Alashi will also face a possible $100 to $1,000 fine or county or regional jail time no more than nine months, or a fine and imprisonment if found guilty by a state court.
Ron Justice, WVU's director of Student Organizations Services, said his office has already launched an investigation into the incident and the fraternity's standing at the University.
The investigation is based on statements collected from those involved and police reports, he said.
Student Organization Services will make a decision on the fraternity's standing by next Wednesday, Justice said. Punishments, range from a warning to possible expulsion, and whether the fraternity can remain on campus.
"When you have a police report, it's easier because you have someone to say, ‘this is what happened,'" Justice said. "We are about halfway where we need to be to get it (the investigation) all done."
Hazing is, as defined by the West Virginia State Code, "to cause any action which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of another person or persons or causes another person or persons to destroy or remove public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into any organization ... operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher education."
The term includes, but is not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity.