CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Eastern Illinois University is suspending its men’s swimming program due to reports of hazing within the program.
University officials announced the suspension on Thursday, saying the team will not be competing anymore in the fall 2023 semester. The hazing reports were disclosed to the team’s head coach and officials said they are credible.
EIU students were surprised by the hazing, especially as the campus is in the midst of raising awareness for Anti-Hazing Week. Spencer Pavletic, an EIU senior and fraternity president, said that even with anti-hazing education, victims of hazing often suffer in silence for the sake of protecting their organization.
“It’s always surprising because you would think that people would speak up about it,” Pavletic said. “And like, I get it. You don’t want to be that guy and say, ‘I’m being hazed here’ and then shut the whole organization down. But at the end of the day, organizations can survive without the hazing.”
The university and its athletics department immediately started a formal investigation into the matter, which will be led by the Office of the Dean of Students.
“The health and wellness of our students is EIU’s topmost priority,” officials said in a statement. “For that reason, final decisions on future competition(s) and individual roster eligibility will be determined following the results of the investigation.”