We are very relieved that our students who are members of the Sigma Nu
fraternity were safely evacuated from the house during the fire that occurred
early this morning, and we are deeply grateful to the Pullman and WSU
firefighters who made that rescue possible.
At the same time, we are launching an immediate investigation into all aspects
of fraternity house fire safety. We will work closely with the fraternity house
corporation boards on any and all safety improvements found necessary and
helpful to ensure our students’ safety.
We have also begun investigating the highly inappropriate behavior of taping
the body and feet of a fraternity member and leaving him in a guest room in the
house. Whether this formally constitutes hazing or not, Washington State
University is treating it as the most serious matter possible, given the potential
threat to life that it posed. We will work through our student conduct process
and with the national officers of Sigma Nu to investigate this behavior and
determine appropriate sanctions.
University staff are working with the Sigma Nu student members today in
helping them determine alternative housing on the campus and providing
whatever support individuals may feel they need.