WARNER ROBINS — Hazing allegations have led to the suspension of the Fort Valley State University chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. for five years, school officials said late Wednesday afternoon.
Those in the chapter who were members of the fraternity before the fall intake class have been suspended from the fraternity indefinitely, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Terrance Smith said.
Smith said the university also has halted the intake process for all Greek-letter organizations with chapters on campus for an indefinite period of time until after all members and advisers of the groups have participated in a risk management workshop. “We want to send a very strong message to the campus community that Fort Valley State University strictly prohibits any form of hazing, whether physical or mental,” Smith said. “And those who are in violation will have to deal with the appropriate consequences.”
The decision was based on an investigation by the fraternity’s Southern Region office into allegations of hazing by the chapter. One member, 19-year-old Brian Tukes of Macon, was hospitalized with injuries his mother says were sustained during a hazing incident at the Alpha house at 603 Carver Drive. Another member, 21-year-old Bryson Trumaine Amey of Fort Valley, was charged with felony assault in the incident.
The ruling, handed down by officials at the Southern Region office of Alpha Phi Alpha in Atlanta also states that members who recently completed the fraternity’s intake process will be placed on probation for three years. The new members will be overseen by the fraternity’s Fort Valley alumni chapter. None of the members, new or old, will be allowed to represent the fraternity in any way, Smith said. The new members, including Tukes, will be required to complete community service in the city. The amount of community service was not immediately available, he said.
Authorities have said Tukes’ mother, Phyllis Tukes, received a text from her son Nov. 30 complaining that he had been vomiting. Later, she received a call to meet him at the Houston Medical Center emergency room. He later was transferred to The Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon.
Phyllis Tukes alerted campus officials of the incident Dec. 4. Amey was arrested Dec. 7. Fourteen members of the fraternity were listed as witnesses to the assault. Their information had been redacted from the report by Fort Valley authorities.
Fort Valley Police Department Capt. Lawrence Spurgeon said investigators were finishing up interviews with witnesses before handing their work over to District Attorney Cliff Woody’s office. Some of the fraternity members have been uncooperative, Spurgeon said.
To contact writer Marlon A. Walker, call 256-9685.