Fraternity house video launches UTC investigation
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - It's video that has the UTC chapter of Phi Delta Theta under a microscope.
In the video, sent to Channel 3 by an anonymous source, you can see one member shoot bottle rockets into the pants of another member who is too intoxicated to notice.
He brags on Facebook saying he pulled the prank four times without his fraternity brother waking up.
He then adds that he made him chug half a bottle of liquor so he would black out.
Another post shows one member performing a lewd act on another member who is also unconscious.
"We take it very seriously," said Chuck Cantrell, spokesperson for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Cantrell says the University has been investigating the material for several months. UTC officials have concluded what is seen in the video is not hazing because of who was involved.
"Traditionally hazing would be any kind of physical, mental, emotional distress put upon a person as a factor of membership," explained Cantrell.
The investigation revealed the acts were performed by alumni who returned to the fraternity house for homecoming.
"We determined that all of the subjects in the video, that we could identify, are no longer students," added Cantrell.
Phi Delta Theta members wouldn't comment when Channel 3 stopped by the Oak Street address Monday.
The fraternity's general headquarters released instead.
"Upon receiving these images all individuals who could be identified have been separated from membership pending an investigation," it said in part. "This action has been taken as the images provided directly contradict the values of the organization."
Cantrell says it will be up to the fraternity to make changes, unless other participants can be identified.
"If we knew that there was someone in there who was a current student, if we could find out who took the photos or the video, or if we knew they were involved, then those students would face violations and student conduct," he said.
Cantrell says UTC's Phi Delta Theta has not faced sanctions in the past for hazing incidents.
It's possible the alumni seen in the video performing the pranks at the off campus fraternity house could face criminal charges.
That would take the victims pressing charges with local authorities.
So far, no charges have been filed.