Feedback: SUNY Canton Voices Outrage Over Frat Hazing

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The SUNY Canton hazing activity occurred inside the non-sanctioned Zeta Alpha Phi fraternity house at 72 Miner Street last week during a recruitment pledge event.

The incident left a student severely bruised.

Specific details of the hazing allegations have not been released as University Police and Canton Village Police continue their investigation.

However, officials said criminal charges are pending.

What we do know is that five or six ZAP members allegedly used a wooden paddle to repeatedly hit another SUNY Canton student on the buttocks, causing severe bruising.

College officials say the hazing allegations are serious and resulted in the frat members being placed on interim suspension while the investigation moves forward.

"Our first priority will always be making sure our students, our staff and faculty are safe and we have a very strong zero-tolerance policy on physical violence, bullying and hazing of any kind," said SUNY Canton Dean of Students Courtney Bish.

Members of the campus community we spoke with were shocked and outraged by the renegade fraternity's behavior.

"Definitely, it's scary. I mean the student's lucky that nothing else worse happened to him and he's just bruised and he's not dead," said student Emily Dishaw.

"I'm not surprised. I've heard about it, but that's not something that they should be doing," said student Morgan Deon.

When 7 News went to the fraternity house for comment, we were told by a female the members weren't there, despite hearing male voices in the background.

A  letter from college officials to one of the suspended students was on the dashboard of a parked car in the driveway.

The ZAP fraternity was involved in a similar hazing incident in 2006 when it first lost its college recognition.

College officials tell us the students involved will undergo a full review before a campus judicial board and, in addition to expected criminal charges, could face disciplinary action including expulsion or suspension.

Officials stressed that this behavior is not common.

"We do have a wonderful Greek community," Bish said. "This is a small minority of our overall population and of our overall student body, who are overwhlemingly very positive, who give a lot of service back to our community."

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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