It’s an action we all saw coming. Today, Clemson University announced that its Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter will be suspended for five years as the result of an investigation into the chapter’s violations of the university’s student organization conduct code.
The university launched an investigation into the chapter’s new member process when Tucker Hipps, a sophomore pledge, went missing after an early morning run with his pledge brothers. His body was later found in Lake Hartwell. Following the news of his death, Clemson suspended all 24 fraternities.
The investigation conducted by the university and the Sigma Phi Epsilon national office was not a criminal investigation, but rather an investigation into the new member process during the Fall 2014 semester. Although there are anonymous allegations that Hipps died due to hazing, no links have been found.
From The State:
Even though both the fraternity and Clemson officials have found the chapter in violation of their respective conduct policies, neither have found evidence suggesting Hipps’ death was the result of hazing so far.
The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office still has an open and ongoing investigation into the incident. Although the toxicology reports are not yet public, an autopsy confirmed that Hipps’ death was caused by a head injury.
Jimmy Watt, an Oconee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the investigation of Hipps’ death is continuing and there will be no new information released until it reaches a conclusion.
“As we have said previously, there is no timetable for the completion of the investigation and releasing our final report,” Watt said.
Thom Berry, a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman, said the sheriff’s office requested SLED’s assistance in performing a toxicology report on Hipps, which was completed and returned to the department on Oct. 9, 2014.
Toxicology reports conducted on Hipps have not yet been released to the public, but an autopsy revealed he died from sustaining a head injury consistent with falling from the bridge and hitting his head. There are rocks in the shallow water under the bridge.
Stay safe, men..
[via The State]
Image via Clemson University