Mississippi students have stirred fury after nonchalantly posing for smiling mugshots after being arrested for hazing and other offences.
The five fraternity brothers were apprehended by law enforcement last week in connection with an incident that involved the brutal beating of fellow student Jeremy Boyle.
Kyle Hughes, Austin Rice, Tucker Cole Steil, Christian Guy and James Declan Basile are all members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and they have been accused of offences which include larceny, felony assault, and hazing.
General studies major Steil faces the most serious accusations, having been charged with felony charges illustrated as “Hands, fists, feet etc. Aggravated injury”. However, he has already been released from Lafayette county jail, after posting a $10,000 bail.
Business student Basile is purported to have been involved in assault, resulting in bodily injury, hazing and petit larceny (theft), amounting to less than $1,000. On the other hand, business majors Hughes and Guy and engineering major Austin have been accused only of having committed petit larceny.
It is alleged that the assault took place on October 6, at the Sigma Pi fraternity house, of which junior accounting major Jeremy Boyle was a member.
Apparently, Boyle heard some noises in the backyard at around 4 a.m. and decided to go outside in order to investigate the source of the disturbance. That’s how he encountered the fraternity group, which allegedly attacked him, causing him multiple injuries.
As the Clarion-Ledger has revealed, the victim suffered a ruptured eardrum, a lung contusion, broken teeth, and a concussion. Following this extensive physical trauma, Jeremy required immediate hospitalization at the Baptist Medical Hospital in Oxford, but was eventually released.
“It was shocking. There is a different culture in the South. People have good behavior. It’s not something you would have expected. Especially at Ole Miss”, explained Brian Boyle, the boy’s father.
According to him, the alleged assailants are yet to suffer any consequences following their acts, and so far they have benefited from unjustified leniency.
In response, University of Mississippi spokesperson Danny Blanton has said that an investigation is currently under way in order to determine exactly what happened on that faithful night.
For now, it’s uncertain if the academic institution will issue an official statement regarding the unfortunate event. However, it has been stated that the university is known for its zero tolerance policy when it comes to hazing, so the incident will not remain unpunished or unaddressed.
Based on the institution’s guidelines, once the report regarding this assault is filed to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct, it is analyzed by a review committee.
This group, made up of 2 students appointed by the Dean and representatives of the University Police Department and the Dean of Students, gets to decide what course of action to recommend. The measures range from formal charges, informal resolution of the case or dismissal of the accusations.
Given that this is purportedly a hazing incident, it is likely that an investigation has been launched by the Student Conduct, whose findings will be directed to the judicial council.
This is where the final decision will be issued, which can result in punishments as inconsequential as a mere warning or more severe penalties, such as expulsion from university.
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