Dear Campus Community,
The University has concluded a thorough investigation of alleged hazing at an off-campus event held by the women's soccer team. This followed a complaint made to our Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
We have found evidence to indicate that hazing occurred and, as a consequence, I have suspended the team from the first three games of the season. They will be permitted to participate in the remaining games.
As you aware, the University has also recently imposed sanctions on the men's soccer team for hazing, suspending the team for its entire 2012-13 season.
There were important differences between the two incidents, including the severity of offenses, and the amount of physical and psychological danger created. Our policies provide for discretion in determining sanctions related to conduct violations, and I am confident that the actions we have taken are appropriate to each of these situations.
These investigations into hazing have been a difficult process for the teams and the rest of the campus community. I have heard from many who are surprised and deeply concerned, and I share their sentiments. We cannot allow hazing to occur at HSU.
Going forward, the University will be implementing additional steps to ensure that all HSU students learn about the risks involved with hazing and excessive alcohol use. It is vital that everyone understand that hazing is illegal, is prohibited by the student and student-athlete codes of conduct, and has no place at our University.
If you are a faculty or staff member, please be sensitive if it is necessary to talk to students and student-athletes about this issue. Students, please remain respectful of one another.
Finally, I would like to commend the work of many individuals within Intercollegiate Athletics and the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. I appreciate their efforts to conduct complete and fair investigations.
The full details of my decision can be downloaded here.
Rollin C. Richmond