UNF investigates 'branding' of fraternity pledge

Police found no criminal activity, but could be violation of student conduct


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida says there will be no criminal charges resulting from the branding of a fraternity member last month, but there could be sanctions as a result of violations of student conduct.

According to UNF police, they were notified anonymously on Dec. 9 of what was described as a hazing incident involving the Sigma Chi fraternity earlier in the fall.  According to the report, a 19-year-old pledge of the Kappa Beta chapter was a Sigma Chi's off-campus residence when the pledge asked the member to brand him on the behind "because he though it would be cool."

The member heated up a coat hanger with a blowtorch and applied it to the pledge's backside.

After talking to several of the people involved, including the victim, the investigating officer wrote that while it was a reckless and intentional act, it was done with the consent of the victim and there was no serious bodily harm/ Therefore, the officer determined it was not a criminal act.

On Wednesday, UNF spokeswoman Sharon Ashton issued a statement saying:

"The student issue was then sent to UNF Student Conduct, which reviewed the student issue during a hearing this week. Student sanctions, which are protected under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), will be forthcoming."