KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee is investigating allegations that fraternity members took alcohol enemas, leading one student to be hospitalized, and a national fraternity has suspended its chapter in Knoxville.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the practice came to light Saturday when a student was brought to a local hospital with alcohol poisoning. Police said his blood alcohol was measured at above 0.40, a level that can be fatal.
After questioning the young people who brought him to the emergency room, officers determined that he had consumed the alcohol rectally, Knoxville police said Monday. Authorities said the technique is supposed to enhance the effects of alcohol.
Police said he had received a wine enema at the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter house. Eleven students and a visitor there were cited for underage consumption of alcohol.
Knoxville Police spokesman Darryl DeBusk said because the incident happened on campus, his department turned the case over to university police and would continue to assist.
Vice Chancellor for Student Life W. Timothy Rogers said the university will investigate the Saturday incident at Pi Kappa Alpha and the dozen people cited for underage drinking.
Pi Kappa Alpha, which is based in Memphis, said it suspended its Zeta chapter at UT for 30 days while it investigates the incident.
In a statement posted on the national chapter website, the fraternity said the organization aims to foster integrity and high moral character.
"These alleged activities are clearly not consistent with that mission, nor are they representative of what the Fraternity would expect from any of its members," the statement continued.
Meanwhile the father of the student who was hospitalized, 20-year-old Alexander P. Broughton, said he has recovered and returned to classes. Mark Broughton told The Knoxville News on Tuesday that some of the information released by the Knoxville Police Department was erroneous.
Broughton declined to be specific about what was wrong, saying the family was investigating precisely what happened.
Rogers said the incident came about 10 days after administrators met with fraternity and sorority leaders to discuss following campus rules.
"It's very disconcerting that it happened so soon after that meeting," he said. "We are a dry campus, but I'm not naive enough to think it won't go on."