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College Takes Action in Case of Alleged Hazing

SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling sent a note to students, faculty and staff on Monday, Oct. 30 regarding the case of alleged hazing reported to University Police in late September.

Below is the note sent to the campus community on the matter and the media release that was issued: 

Campus Community,

I am writing to update you on the investigation of Pi Alpha Nu fraternity undertaken in late September.

Earlier today, the college issued a media release detailing misdemeanor charges that have been filed in Plattsburgh City Court against 21 current SUNY Plattsburgh students and an additional six former students. The media release is copied below my note for your review.

In addition to criminal charges, a separate campus judicial process is underway to determine both the future of the fraternity and the enrollment status of its member students.

I am grateful for the work of University Police and Student Affairs. When presented with a student concern, they immediately took action the same day to initiate an investigation and suspend the organization from further activities.

We will not tolerate hazing in any form and University Police is working closely with the Clinton County Office of the District Attorney to prosecute this matter criminally. It is important for this case to be pursued to emphasize how seriously we take any hazing. More on our collective approach is online here.

We will continue to raise awareness and create a culture where these types of behaviors are not present. Activities include National Hazing Prevention Week held the last week of each September to educate the entire campus about the crime of hazing and how it destroys organizational trust and teamwork. It is coordinated by the Interfraternity Council and Inter-Sorority Association Hazing Prevention Committee.

In raising the public profile of hazing, it is important to restate this: If you see something, say something. It is not enough to avoid problems directly.

If you see or experience behavior that is personally damaging or hurtful to you or a fellow member of the campus community, bring this to the attention of University Police or an appropriate authority figure. We cannot act if we do not know. It is easy to report this anonymously through several channels, including the Hazing Hotline 518-564-5555, or 5555 on campus. Please use it.

John Ettling


Charges Filed Related to Hazing Incidents

Criminal misdemeanor charges have been filed with Plattsburgh City Court against 21 SUNY Plattsburgh students in connection with alleged hazing incidents at the Pi Alpha Nu fraternity off campus.

The charges stem from activities at an off-campus location in both February 2017 and September 2017, according to University Police. Initial court appearances for the students will occur at different times in November.

Separately, six former students are expected to face similar charges in connection with the incidents.

The students and former students face charges ranging from hazing in the first degree and criminal nuisance in the second degree to unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree related to furnishing alcohol to minors. The matter involved demeaning behavior, alcohol use and paddling, according to University Police.

The Pi Alpha Nu fraternity remains under a cease and desist activities order. A separate campus judicial process is underway to determine both the future of the fraternity and the enrollment status of its member students.

SUNY Plattsburgh supports a strong fraternity and sorority system of nearly two dozen organizations. The college does not tolerate hazing in any form and has long been aggressive about educating students about hazing and its consequences.

A Hazing Hotline is available at 518-564-5555, or 5555 on campus.

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