The ETSU University Judicial Board suspended Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity for five years starting March 20 after finding them responsible for violating sections of ETSU’s Institutional Disciplinary Policies, including hazing and disorderly conduct.

“We take any report of hazing or any kind of misconduct allegation very seriously,” said Chief Communications Officer Joe Smith. “These are things we are going to investigate, we are going to investigate aggressively.”

Lambda Chi Alpha has been on interim suspension since November 2014 after the university received a complaint from a member of the group claiming the fraternity was hazing members.

The fraternity was found guilty of hazing in fall 2011, resulting in the fraternity being placed on probation, and was also found guilty of hazing and disorderly conduct in fall 2013.

“My understanding was that because they were already on probation and because new allegations came forward [the university] knew to take the next step in the disciplinary process,” Smith said.

The charges were based on several allegations including blindfolding new members, sensory and sleep deprivation and pressing members to drink during initiation events.

Lambda Chi Alpha was also charged with intentionally providing and pressuring others to provide false information in university investigations.

“Hazing is something we take very seriously,” Smith said.

“This is not something that we deal with very often here on campus. We don’t have any other accusations, any other reports of hazing that we’re investigating right now.”

The East Tennessean reached out to Lambda Chi Alpha for comment but didn’t have enough time to include their response in this article.

Lambda Chi Alpha has appealed the decision to the Vice President for Student Affairs. It’s uncertain if their appeal will be successful.