Statement Regarding APEs Student Group

Please attribute to Robert A. Chernak, senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services

December 02, 2007

Over the course of the past week, the University received a significant amount of credible information that an unregistered and unrecognized student group calling itself the APEs was planning to engage in dangerous hazing activities this weekend with the potential for injury to its "pledges."

The group was already under investigation but in light of the new information about impending activities which raised serious concerns for the health and safety of the individuals to be hazed, on November 28 the University began interviewing students believed to be "pledges" of the APEs group who were prospective victims. Concurrently, the University engaged in the first of several administrative room searches of members and officers of the group believed to be leading the hazing.

These actions resulted in the development of further evidence confirming hazing activities, as well as confiscation of drugs and other contraband. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) was contacted because of possible criminal violations, as well as the fact that the group's actions may constitute "gang" activities under the District's new anti-gang law.

As a result of the investigation, three students have been placed on interim suspension from the University and as such, may not be on campus. Parents of students believed to be "pledges" and potential victims of hazing were called in light of the University?s serious concerns for their health and safety, an action allowable by law.

One of the individuals whose room was searched has since been hospitalized. Because of strict federal regulations protecting the privacy of patient information, we cannot comment on the student's condition.

University procedures, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, and the University housing agreements, have been followed throughout the process. The investigation is ongoing.

It is unfortunate that circumstances brought us to the point where the University found it necessary to take action of this sort. We sincerely hope this sends a strong signal to all student organizations that the University expects all members of our community to conduct themselves in a manner that respects University policies and honors the rights of others.

For more information about The George Washington University, visit www.gwu.edu.

-GW-

MEDIA CONTACTS:

GW Office of Media Relations - 202-994-6460 - [email protected]

 

-GW-

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