The University found Women’s Club Gymnastics and the University Guide Service guilty of hazing violations this fall and has referred both groups to the University Judiciary Committee for adjudication, per its most recent hazing misconduct report.
Hazing is against both University policy and Virginia law. The report was issued in accordance with Adam’s Law, which took effect over the summer. The legislation is named after Adam Oakes, who died in February 2021 while pledging Delta Chi at Virginia Commonwealth University. It mandates anti-hazing training for students participating in organizations with new-member processes and also requires that institutions provide a public report of hazing violations.
In its last report issued in July, the University found five organizations guilty of hazing violations. Two fraternities — Phi Gamma Delta and Kappa Alpha — had their Fraternal Organization Agreements with the University revoked as a result of the report’s findings.
Per the report, Club Gymnastics engaged in hazing during the group’s Sept. 16 initiation event. New members were instructed to perform wall sits and attempt to make a current member laugh, with failure resulting in new members having to take a shot of alcohol or water. New members also played a drinking game, did one-handed cartwheels holding a jello shot and completed mandatory tasks such as finding large sticks, singing and dancing.
Club Gymnastics fully cooperated with the investigation and was referred to the UJC for adjudication. The organization declined to comment.
Additionally, the University found the Guide Service guilty of misconduct for various incidents between September and November. One current member encouraged new members to chug Smirnoff Ices. New members were also offered alcoholic beverages during a “progressive” event hosted in multiple Lawn rooms, traveled in cars to undisclosed locations, were pressured to wear “potentially embarrassing” outfits and performed song remixes in public locations.
The report also details that current members intentionally misled new members with a purposefully difficult quiz and a fake syllabus outlining extensive readings and travel requirements during an event called “Probie Scare.”
Part of the Guide Service’s Special Status Agreement pertaining to recruitment and initiation was suspended and the organization has been referred to UJC for adjudication after complying with the investigation. The Guide Service is recruiting new members this semester in accordance with guidelines set forth by Student Affairs.
The special status agreement allows the group to perform University-sponsored activities. Members of the Guide Service deliver both historical and admissions tours to prospective and current students, faculty and staff, alumni, community members and visitors.
Tahi Wiggins, chair of the Guide Service and fourth-year College student, said the group plans to cooperate with the UJC process.
“The history of UGS, just as with many organizations on Grounds, involves problematic practices that generations of students have been working to change,” Wiggins said. “That said, we understand that these changes are not happening quickly enough and appreciate that this process will help us make UGS a safe and comfortable community.”
Run entirely by students, UJC handles violations of the University’s 12 Standards of Conduct, which include threats to health and safety and reckless conduct. Last spring, UJC found five fraternities affiliated with the IFC guilty of violations, along with business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi for hazing, UJC imposed sanctions including suspensions and social probations.
As both Club Gymnastics and the Guide Service enter the UJC trial process, UJC counselors will work with each group on their case, while investigators will collect evidence. The sanctions trial will then determine the outcome for each organization.