The 11 members of the University of Georgia Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. charged with hazing have been booked at the Athens-Clarke County jail as of Friday.
The fraternity members Kourtland Wills Jones, Rictavious Jerome Bowens, Robert Lee Ellis, Fakari Jalen Gresham, Julian Deandre Hoyle, Austin Johnson, Jason Rahsaan Moffitt, Acarre Dejon Patton, Nicholas Brandon Pope, Raheen Thompson and John Allen Wood were charged with hazing, an with one misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The charge has a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $5,000 fine under the state of Georgia.
Nine of them were booked Thursday night between about 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., according to the jail log. Johnson was booked in the jail Friday morning at about 9 a.m. Hoyle was booked Friday afternoon. All but Hoyle are out of jail on bond except, as of Friday night.
UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said the Office of Student Affairs provided him with information about the activity during the initiation process of UGA’s Zeta Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi after it took place Jan. 27.
“The pledges were physically struck and from interviews with other people we determined hazing had occurred,” Williamson said.
Kourtland Jones, president of the fraternity, declined to comment to The Red & Black.
Police are treating this activity as a single event, though more than one victim was hazed. Police said none of the injuries required medical treatment.
Each fraternity member charged will go through the official process by the Office of Student Conduct where the case will be heard, the facts will be brought forward and a decision will be made.
“We have already been made aware of the allegations for the organization,” said Stan Jackson, director of student affairs communications and marketing initiatives. “They are severe enough since physical harm was alleged to be happening so the assistant vice president went ahead and made the decision to interim suspend [the fraternity].”
Interim suspension, Jackson said, means that the organization and the individuals cannot take part in any activities.
Activities that the fraternity was prevented from participating in included the annual National Pan-Hellenic Council Greek Step Show FaceOff, which took place Feb. 1.
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, ZI will not be performing in Faceoff this evening," the fraternity tweeted. "We will not provide any further comments on this matter."
Jackson said the possible consequences for the fraternity could range anywhere from the smallest of membership revocations up to expulsion.
As for the fate of the fraternity, Jackson said that decision is down the road, but he is aware of other organizations that were able to reinstate themselves.
He said the national chapter communicated with the leadership of UGA’s chapter and gave it a cease and desist order, which has its own policies and disciplinary standards. The fraternity will lead an internal investigation.
Jackson said the University Student Code of Conduct, which applies to both organizations and students, explicitly prohibits hazing.
“I don’t think there is a culture of hazing within the university,” Jackson said. “From the moment students arrive on campus all the way through the application to, initiation into, membership of and then being active in organizations, they are made aware by policy of the university’s stance against hazing. And I think the vast majority of organizations are adhering to that.”
UGA has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing, and the NPHC said on its website that hazing is against state, federal and local law, including any situation that causes another person pain.
“And while we wish the situation wouldn’t have happened," Jackson said. "I hope this serves as a message to other student organizations that hazing will not be tolerated.”