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Washington and Lee University suspends Phi Kappa Psi over taser hazing

A police officer poses with a taser. (Photo by Sebastien Nogier/Reuters)
A police officer poses with a taser.

Washington and Lee University suspended one of its fraternities for three years on Wednesday after one member used a Taser on a pledge, college officials said.

No one was seriously injured in the hazing incident during an event sponsored by Phi Kappa Psi, university president Kenneth Ruscio said in a statement to the student body.

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The incident was reported by a tipster, and the school's public safety department launched an investigation immediately, the school said. After a hearing Tuesday night, the student-led Interfraternity Council voted to suspend the chapter for 18 months — but Ruscio decided that wasn't a harsh enough penalty.

"This was a case of clear physical abuse, harmful enough as it was, but under the circumstances potentially even more dangerous," he explained. "It was a specific act that occurred in a climate of intimidation that existed throughout the fraternity's new member education program."

The use of a stun gun was also reported to prosecutors, who could not be reached for immediate comment. The name of the students involved were not released.

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