Four individuals and a fraternity were convicted in May on charges related to an incident that involved the discovery of a brutally mutilated cat hung on Sigma Chi’s door in early December.
Sources have repeatedly told the Campus Times that Delta Kappa Epsilon was the fraternity involved, but administration has not confirmed this.
The individuals were found responsible for a variety of charges ranging from failure to comply, misrepresentation, hazing and violation of university regulations.
“Sanctions applied to these individuals varied and ranged from prohibition from campus, removal from campus housing to prohibition from Greek life to disciplinary probation,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said.
“A fraternity was also found responsible for two of seven charges and was issued similar sanctions including restrictions on social events, pledging and residence arrangements,” Asbury continued.
Despite the sanctions, President of DKE and senior Eric Dubowsky remains positive. “Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity is proud to continue its long standing tradition here at the University of Rochester,” Dubowsky said. “The members of DKE are some of the great leaders on campus, demonstrating their skills and abilities in academics, athletics and community events. Varsity athletes, resident advisors, student activity senators, teaching assistants and members of the university working community are the leaders that bring together the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.”
Continuing, he said, “With the responsibility as upstanding citizens of the university, we charge the university community to work together with our leadership to make Rochester the great institution it is.”
Originally, DKE was placed on summary disciplinary probation following the incident, along with SC and Alpha Delta Epsilon. SC and ADE were on probation for three months, until new information came to light in the investigation. DKE remained on probation through the end of last semester.
UR Security officers, the Humane Society and the Rochester Police Department conducted a four-month long investigation.
“At the height [of the investigation], there were four or five investigators assigned to the case,” Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin said. “It was a pretty substantial effort on our part.”
The investigation focused on the death of the cat and its handling during a 16-hour period between when it was first seen on campus and when it was anonymously reported to UR Security.
The investigation yielded enough evidence to charge seven people and one fraternity with charges ranging from threats to health and safety, hazing and failure to comply with the investigation.
The investigation failed to determine if the cat was killed off of campus, although Mauldin pointed out that there was no evidence that it was killed on campus.
It was never determined if the cat died as a result of being hit by a car or by animal cruelty, as the Humane Society’s chief veterinarian concluded.
“The sort of injuries here were different than if the cat had been hit by a car, where the blow is more crushing,” Dr. Andy Newmark of the Humane Society said.
The nebulous conclusion means that it is still possible the felony of aggravated assault to animals, punishable by up to two years in jail, occurred.
“We’ve taken this as far as we will be able to,” Mauldin said. “We’re frusterated that some details will never come to light, but we’ve had to move on.”
Continuing, he said, “We have pursued every lead to its fullest.”
Mauldin added that if new information comes to light, security will follow the lead to its end.
Schnee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.