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Marquette Ski and Snowboard Team suspended for hazing

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The Marquette ski and snowboard club team has been temporarily suspended after accusations of hazing, providing alcohol to minors and disorderly conduct arose surrounding a trip the team took the weekend of Feb. 2 to Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, Ill.

In a Feb. 11 email obtained by the Tribune and sent from the executive board of the club to its members, club officials wrote that the Office of Student Development received a specific complaint stating that one or more club members felt “they were the victim of hazing concurrent of minors being in the presence of alcohol.”

According to the 2012-13 Marquette Student Handbook, hazing involves situations which “do or could result in mental, emotional, or physical discomfort, embarrassment, ridicule or endangerment, whether intentionally, for fun or by consent.”

The accusations come as a result of a club member’s report of the activities to the Office of Student Development, according to a statement released by the club Monday.

Jon Dooley, senior associate dean of the Office of Student Development, said in an email Monday that his office and the Department of Recreational Sports “are currently conducting an organization review of the Club Ski and Snowboard organization after receiving a recent report that student organization policies may have been broken.”

Dooley said details of specific incidents and violations are not made public because of the confidentiality of student conduct reports. But, he said, it is “not unusual” for student organizations to be temporarily suspended while such reviews take place.

“We take any allegation of misconduct seriously and expect our students and student organizations to uphold Marquette’s values by maintaining a high standard of conduct,” he said.

While the review process will determine whether the team is found to have hazed one or more students, the last publicly reported act of hazing as defined by the university involved the club lacrosse team in 2005.

At that time, some team members took part in underage drinking and only wore thong underwear at an off-campus party. Photos of the party were then posted online, and a Marquette alumnus sent the photos to local media outlets, drawing attention to the situation. This resulted in the cancellation of the team’s spring season.

Before the lacrosse incident, the Tribune reported in a Nov. 15, 2005 article, “the last act defined as hazing at Marquette” happened in Dec. 1992, when the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity reportedly set an intoxicated member on fire. This resulted in second degree burns to the student on 22 percent of his body and the revocation of the fraternity’s charter.

In regard to the accusations against the ski and snowboard club, the statement released by the club Monday said: “The ski and snowboard club does not support this sort of behavior and had originally urged its members to report such behavior to the e-board immediately.”

It continued: “The whole teams’ suspension was the result of 1-2 members’ alleged actions; however, the entire club of more than 80 members is subject to the consequences.”

Brandon Byrne, a senior in the College of Business Administration and a member of the team since his freshman year, said he learned of the alleged incident an hour before leaving for this past weekend’s trip to Minnesota.

“This was an unfortunate event for this year’s Ski and Snowboard team,” he said. “This season, the (executive) board put such a huge effort into growing the team and promoting a safe environment. It’s a shame that a few members of the team this year seem to have not followed the clear guidelines of the club and university.”

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