The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at the University of Alberta ihas been suspended for five years. ((CBC))

The University of Alberta has suspended the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity for five years after an investigation revealed frat members, both students and alumni, have been hazing students for years.

However the university will not pursue criminal charges against individual members, said the university's dean of students, Frank Robinson.

"Our main objective was to look after the safety and welfare of all of our students," he said. "We met that objective best by placing the sanction on the group."

The investigation focused on acts that included confining students in a plywood box and forcing them to eat vomit.

The events were brought to light in a video given to the university's student newspaper.

Hazing occurred over years

The fraternity acknowledged hazing took place over a number of years involving both current students and alumni, said Robinson.

The fraternity was similarly suspended in 1999 for hazing activity, though Robinson said he did not know what behaviour elicited the sanction.

"Hazing activity is strictly prohibited at the University of Alberta," he said.


U of A dean of students, Frank Robinson, speaks with reporters Thursday. ((CBC))

The suspension means the fraternity will not be allowed to use the University's name, logo, grants, institutional liquor and gaming licences, or campus resources and space.

"It's a serous sanction," said Robinson. "It's longer than most students are here."

After three years the fraternity can apply to have the suspension lifted, he said. 

The students' union is commending the suspension, saying students have a right to a safe academic and extra-curricular community.

"I do think this required a harsh sentence and I do think that was appropriate," said Rory Tighe, with the student's union.

"I think this was an isolated incident and this isn't something, obviously, that our campus tolerates."