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UB Student Involved in Possible Sigma Pi Hazing Incident Has Died

Image result for Sebastian Serafin-Bazan18-year-old University at Buffalo freshman, Sebastian Serafin-Bazan, who was involved in a possible hazing incident last week at a house affiliated with the Sigma Pi fraternity, died today.

Serafin-Bazan had been on life support since Friday evening.

The national Sigma Pi Fraternity has now been involved in three incidents in the past six months……including the tragic death of Ohio University student, Collin Wiant, after an alleged hazing incident.

The entire staff at School Violence Law and The Fierberg National Law group extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sebastian Serafin-Bazan.

Read the USA Today Article Here.

New study confirms that fraternity men and athletes are committing more sexual assaults than are those in the general student population

Repeat Rapists on Campus

A new study confirms that fraternity men and athletes are committing more sexual assaults than are those in the general student population — and that repeat offenders are a major problem.

 

Researchers have, many times over, confirmed a sobering fact: fraternity members tend to commit rape much more frequently than their non-Greek-life peers. They’ve also documented that serial offenders account for many campus sexual assaults.

But a new study quantifies in a staggering way the prevalence with which men in fraternities and on sports teams engage in sex crimes on campuses — and how repeat rapists are to blame for a vast majority of these incidents. The report suggests that the vast majority of assaults involving alcohol are committed by serial perpetrators.

Experts on campus sexual violence said that these new data support the idea that administrators should kick out students they’ve found responsible for rape. And, they said, it demonstrates need for more targeted education — especially among the men and groups who are committing the most sexual assaults.

Three professors — from Union University in Tennessee, Bowling Green State University and University of Redlands — used data from the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey, or CORE, developed by the Core Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. The group there helps institutions figure out students’ attitudes toward drug and alcohol consumption.

The researchers looked at survey data from more than 12,600 male students at 49 colleges and universities in one Midwestern state that was not named. The institutions included in the sample were both two- and four-year colleges.

A little more than 5 percent of those men self-reported that they had committed a sexual assault when alcohol was involved. This matched other literature, which has put the percentage of college men who committed a broader range of sexual crimes between 6 and 11 percent.

Of those who sexually assaulted someone while under the influence, it was more common for them to do it again rather than just once. The researchers found that nearly 3 percent of the men in the overall study committed assault twice or more when alcohol was a factor.

“If you have a man who has been accused of sexual assault and you … find him responsible, it makes sense to expel him from the institution, not necessarily just give them educational sanctions,” said John D. Foubert, dean of the College of Education at Union and one of the report’s authors. “It’s cutting down on the rate of rape at the institution drastically.”

More significant was how many more incidents could be attributed to recurring rapists rather than one-time offenders.

The authors of the study weren’t precise with these data, given that students in the original CORE survey could report a range of how many assaults they had committed (again with alcohol involved). For instance, students could report if they assaulted someone three to five times — in this case, the researchers counted that in their report as an average of four assaults per person.

The researchers documented approximately 2,071 sexual assaults — of those, roughly 950 assaults, or about 46 percent of the incidents, were committed by students who admitted to raping 10 or more times.

S. Daniel Carter, president of Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses, which consults with colleges and universities on sexual assaults and federal policy, said this was the most striking figure.

“Removing those repeat perpetrators from the population is the only solution in my point of view,” Carter said.

As the researchers note, the men didn’t always classify their acts as rape, per se. Other studies and interviews with men have found sometimes they consider their victim saying no to be a game or a way to spice up the encounter.

Being associated with a fraternity or an athletics team also had a positive correlation with alcohol-fueled rapes, the study found. Heads of fraternities were less likely to commit alcohol-related assaults than just members. The opposite was true for sports teams — the leaders of the teams reported more assaults.

This reporter provided Todd Shelton, a spokesman for the North-American Interfraternity Conference, with a copy of the study, but Shelton said by email he did not have a chance to review it.

“I will say sexual violence has no place on any campus or in the fraternity experience,” Shelton wrote in his email. “NIC fraternities are committed to creating safer campus communities and recently adopted new health and safety guidelines including banning hard alcohol at fraternity houses and events to create a safer environment for members and guests.”

A previous study by Foubert shows that men who joined fraternities were just as likely to have committed sexual violence prior to college as men who didn’t join a fraternity. But the same study showed that fraternity men were three more likely to assault women than their counterparts, suggesting that fraternity culture was the driving factor for the assaults.

Institutions should more aggressively focus on teaching students in “high-risk” environments such as fraternities and sports teams, rather than just the general population, Foubert said. He said bystander training — educating students to intervene when they see their peers are about to commit a heinous act — has been proven to be effective. Foubert called for more research with a larger national sample, noting their information was from a single state. He said it would also be beneficial to interview directly admitted rapists to learn their motives and how they behave.

“They don’t define their behavior as rape — they sometimes define it as seduction,” Foubert said. “I think it would be helpful [to know] what their techniques are to alert women.”

Colleges and universities trying to stamp out sexual predators could learn from law enforcement efforts to prevent terrorism, said Peter F. Lake, a law professor and director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University.

Lake used this analogy — the public shouldn’t write off fraternities in total, just as they shouldn’t consider all people of a certain race to be terrorists. Institutions should partner with fraternities to help locate bad apples in a group or the misbehaving fraternities on campus. He said many times, the fraternity members, most of whom are not raping women, don’t have the knowledge or skills to respond to “serious psychopathic behavior.”

“If you eliminate the ones that are doing that from the culture, then the culture will thrive,” Lake said.

Potential Hazing Causes SUNY Buffalo to Suspend Fraternity and Sorority Activities

The University at Buffalo has suspended all fraternities and sororities and is investigating a “potential” hazing incident at the Sigma Pi fraternity house that has left a student in critical condition.

An 18-year-old student, Sebastian Serafin-Bazan, ended up in critical condition at an area hospital after going into cardiac arrest.

The national Sigma Pi Fraternity has now been involved in three incidents in the past six months……including the death of Ohio University student, Collin Wiant, after an alleged hazing incident.

The New York Times Full Article Here.

ODU Suspends Omega Psi Phi for 5 Years After Hazing Investigation

Image result for old dominion universityThe Omega Psi Phi chapter at Old Dominion University has been suspended for 5 years after an investigation showed that hazing resulted in a pledge seeking treatment at a hospital.

Members allegedly beat pledges, made them drink hot sauce, and poured the sauce on their genitals to simulate a sexually transmitted disease.

AP Article Here.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Key Note Speaker, Miss Michigan 2018, Emily Sioma

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence and School Violence Law and The Fierberg National Law Group was incredibly honored to be one of the Solace & Solidarity: Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence sponsors. #SAAM #IAsk NSVRC

 

 

Former Penn State University fraternity brothers sentenced in connection with the death of Timothy Piazza during a hazing ritual

Most serious charges dismissed in Timothy Piazza hazing death

Former Penn State University fraternity brothers have been sentenced in connection with the 2017 hazing death of Timothy Piazza.

This is the first time jail sentences have been handed out in the case, though there is a possibility a judge may amend the sentences to house arrest, a source familiar with the case said.

CNN Article Here.

Recent opinion in two campus assault cases will have a far-reaching effect on Title IX claims

School Violence Law and The Fierberg National Law Group attorney Jon Fazzola represents Tessa Farmer and Sara Weckhorst in their claims against KSU – stating that the university took no further action after their assaults – thus violating their rights under #titleix.

The university filed a motion to dismiss the case, but Honorable David M. Ebel reaffirmed a 1999 SCOTUS decision that a person does not have to be raped again for the university to be in violation of Title IX…

Within days of this decision, it was used to argue a similar Michigan State University case in which 4 students claimed their Title IX rights were violated… #saam #iask End Rape on Campus RAINN NO MORE National Sexual Violence Resource Center Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area Pave It’s On Us

Read the Full Article Here.

Gaps Revealed in Death of University of Utah Student Lauren McCluskey

Even though a broad proposal to improve campus safety in Utah was just signed by the governor, one state lawmaker is already exploring how to close specific gaps revealed by the death of college student Lauren McCluskey.

McCluskey, a senior at the University of Utah, was shot and killed in October 2018 by a 37-year-old parolee who had harassed her after she learned he was a sex offender and more than a decade older than her and broke off their brief relationship. The track and field athlete and communication major would have graduated in May.

Read the full article here.

Betsy DeVos’s Alma Mater Facing Title IX Case

An ensuing lawsuit filed by Michelle Hoffman, regarding the sexual assault her 15-year-old daughter by her 17-year-old boyfriend, against Holland Christian High School has turned Betsy DeVos’s private alma mater in Holland, Mich., into Exhibit A as the secretary moves to overhaul the law that governs school sexual assault — and to bolster the rights of the accused while narrowing the responsibilities that schools have to investigate sexual misconduct.

Read the NY Times article here.

Michael Deng Hazing Death: Court Rules Fraternity & Former National President Liable

The Fierberg National Law Group and School Violence Law just obtained legal finding of liability against the Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, Inc. and its former national director, Andy Meng, for the 2013 hazing death of Baruch College student, Michael Deng.

This is a loss for the national fraternity and a win for the cause.

See our Press Release and Breaking News.