COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Two Texas A&M students are suing Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and eight other members of the fraternity after they said they were injured during a night of hazing. The plaintiffs said they are now disfigured due to being burned during the hazing and had to undergo surgery.
In court documents filed on October 18 in Harris County, the plaintiffs have requested over $1 million in damages but they have also demanded the case be tried before a jury so the jury may determine how much money should be awarded.
According to court documents, the plaintiffs said they had gone through spring rush and had been notified they were chosen to pledge Sigma Alpha Epsilon, known on campus as SAE House.
The plaintiffs claimed on March 29, 2021, they were forced to do physical activities while they were spit on. The plaintiffs also claimed raw eggs, paint, food, condiments and industrial strength cleaner, also known as SC-200 was poured on them. According to court documents, SC-200 is a high alkaline, solvent-based heavy duty cleaner that can corrode metal and cause severe skin burns.
The plaintiffs claimed they are permanently disfigured due to the severe burns and had to have skin graft surgery. They also claimed the defendants refused to give first aid at the scene.
The suit specifically named eight of the students who were allegedly involved in the hazing, including the chapter's president. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Texas Tau Chapter and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Inc, the national headquarters for the fraternity are also named.
According to court documents, the plaintiffs claimed the chapter and its headquarters were negligent, failed to enforce national standards when it comes to hazing and that the national headquarters failed to properly train and educate the chapter advisors.
According to Texas A&M, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been suspended for two years for violating the Student Code of Conduct as well as Texas state law. When allowed to reopen, the university said it will be on probation for two years.
In a statement issued to KAGS News, Texas A&M says the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house is not on campus. The fraternity attempted to appeal the suspension, however, it was denied and the suspension stands. The statement is as follows:
Texas A&M will not tolerate actions or behavior that degrades, intimidates, humiliates or endangers students. We will continue our hazing prevention education programs, which includes outlining what constitutes hazing and the consequences for such poor choices. Hazing is a violation of Texas A&M’s Student Code of Conduct, student organization policies and Texas state law.
This is a developing story. We will continue to update you as more information is made available.