|By Bob Weaver|
Glenville State College is investigating what happened at a party where a male, not currently registered at the college, was hot-branded with a symbol which reportedly represents the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity.
Director of Student Affairs Jerry Burkhammer told the Herald the college has suspended the fraternity while an investigation is being conducted.
The branding episode landed on YouTube on the Internet, showing a male lying on the floor being branded by a wire heated by a blow torch.
The video, which has been removed from YouTube, had individuals incanting TKE, although only one person in the video was a member of of the fraternity, according to Burkhammer.
At the conclusion of the video, the camera turned to giant TKE letters.
The branding happened in a private residence in Glenville.
The local fraternity claims the incident was not a hazing.
TKE spokesperson Lynn Frederick told the Glenville Pathfinder, "We've filed a complaint with YouTube and had it removed. We don't know who put it on there, but we're looking at bringing a slander suit against them."
TKE, the nation's biggest fraternity, says on their web site, "The word "pledge" and all the unflattering remarks which accompany it does not exist within Tau Kappa Epsilon."
"We are currently...working with Tau Kappa Epsilon's National organization to take the appropriate steps," said Burkhammer.
"Their organizational privileges have been suspended on campus until the investigation is concluded and the appropriate sanctions delivered," he said.
"This is a behavior that is definitely not acceptable from our standpoint and will be dealt with accordingly," Burkhammer concluded.