The University of Alberta is investigating allegations of hazing after an article published Thursday in campus newspaper The Gateway detailed troubling incidents at a fraternity.
The story, by Alexandria Eldridge, says the January 2010 hazing incidents at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity were captured on video.
Eldridge viewed the tapes and said the incidents are both disturbing and difficult to watch.
"You can see someone vomiting and then they're eating whatever is on their plate, and you can infer that it's vomit because that's what they just threw up onto their plate," she said.
The students were also allegedly deprived of sleep and confined in a plywood box. Eldridge's story quotes an anonymous source corroborating what she saw on the videos.
"The best way to describe it is surreal," she said. "You hear about this kind of thing in the movies and things like that, but it was really kind of surprising to me that it was happening like here, and happening in a fraternity on this campus."
Fraternity policy prohibits hazing
Eldridge's sentiments were echoed by third-year business student Colin Brenneis.
"I just didn't think that kind of thing happened at the U of A," he said.
"[I] thought it was pretty disgusting. I didn't think that anyone would want to join a fraternity like that if you had to do those type of things to get in."
Campus security at the University of Alberta has now launched an investigation into the incidents.
"It's an allegation still, and until it's dealt with I'm still considering this an allegation," said the university's dean of students, Frank Robinson.
If the allegations are found to be true, Robinson said individual students and the fraternity itself could face sanctions.
No one at the fraternity was available to comment Thursday. The Delta Kappa Epsilon International risk management policy says hazing is prohibited.
The newspaper is acting on the advice of its lawyers and not releasing the tape in order to protect its sources.