Crime & Justice

Cal Poly Pomona officials suspend fraternity after initiation led to student injury

Officials at Cal Poly Pomona said today they’ve suspended a campus fraternity and nine of its members after an initiation ceremony caused one student to suffer serious burns.

KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has the story.

University officials say members of Cal Poly Pomona’s Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity drove 14 blindfolded students to the desert for a nighttime initiation ceremony. As some frat members removed the blindfolds, another doused a bonfire in front of them with gasoline. A student sustained second-degree burns to his arms, chest, and legs.

Cal Poly Pomona officials say the incident took place three months ago but they found out about it last week. The university has frozen Sigma Phi Epsilon’s financial accounts and has prohibited the group’s use of campus facilities until it completes criminal and disciplinary investigations. The probe’s looking into whether the victim was given immediate medical attention and whether any minors were drinking during the incident.

Sigma Phi Epsilon is a 108-year old fraternity that claims it’s the largest in the country with chapters on 250 campuses.