Volume 81, Issue 13
January 29, 2009

Investigation Over Alleged Hazing Incident

By Alisha George


The Washington College men’s lacrosse team is under investigation relating to a possible hazing incident on Jan. 13.

When asked if the incident involved alcohol, Director of Public Safety Jerry Roderick said some of his staff is involved in the investigation sand he did not want to say anything to compromise the investigation.

The Athletic Department, Public Safety and the Chestertown Police Department are all conducting the investigation.

Director of Athletics Bryan Matthews released the following statement to faculty and staff members on Jan. 20: “Following an incident that occurred off campus last week, we are conducting an investigation of alleged misconduct by a group of Washington College students. In this, as in all matters, the safety and well being of our students is our paramount concern. Our immediate goal is to determine what actually occurred. Once the investigation is complete, we will take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to ensure the safety of every Washington College student as well as our campus community’s full compliance to college policy.”

Matthews declined to answer why the student body was not also sent the above statement.

President Baird Tipson said the administration hopes to, through the investigation, get a better idea of what happened that night. “I think it’s important that we get to the bottom of this,” said Tipson.

Tipson hopes that the school will be able to inform the players of a decision by Feb. 1, when the NCAA regulations state spring sports may begin practicing.

“As we said in the statement, what we’re really concerned about is the safety of students and in this case, there appears to be a student hurt, fortunately not seriously, but it could have been. We’ve got to come down forcefully but fairly and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Tipson declined to comment about whether a student had to be taken to the hospital.

Chief Edler said no charges have been filed as of yet.

“Depending on what the investigation reveals, we’ll see at that time how it plays out,” said Edler. He said the investigation is a lot of work and very time consuming.

The four men’s lacrosse team captains were contacted to comment about the incident, but did not respond.

Tipson said the investigation is confined to trying to find out what happened and nothing is off the table.

“We’re not saying for sure there’s going to be a Lacrosse season or for sure there’s not going to be a Lacrosse season. That’s got to be determined after we know more than what we know right now,” said Tipson.

Tipson said before anyone is called to the Honor Board, the administration wants to make sure it knows exactly who are the individuals responsible for violating the school disciplinary code.

“The Honor Board is certainly looking at this,” said Tipson. “We are not trying to hide from this, this is something we want everyone to see we are taking it very seriously and we’re going to do the right thing. We just don’t want to act precipitously.”