2 resign at Penn State following hazing incident

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A Penn State University employee and a graduate assistant who are being investigated as part of an April hazing incident in State College have stepped down.

Aaron Holloman, a residence life coordinator, was on leave before resigning last Monday, spokeswoman Lisa Powers said in an email. Claude Mayo, a graduate assistant and student in the College of Science, left his assistantship May 2.

Both men are members of Omega Phi Psi fraternity, according to a report from university police sent April 24 to the Office of Student Conduct.

In addition, Ms. Powers said several other students who are members of the fraternity or an affiliated group were not allowed to graduate with their class last week, Ms. Powers said. She could not say how many students were denied graduation, but said their status will be determined pending the results of an investigation.

Freshman Asya Trowell, 18, of Owings Mills, Md., told police in the early morning hours on April 4, members of Omega Essence -- an auxiliary group unofficially affiliated with Omega Psi Phi fraternity -- repeatedly slapped and kicked her in the stomach, among other things, for roughly three hours.

Ms. Trowell also reported that Mr. Mayo drove her and other women pledging Omega Essence to and from the off-campus home where the incidents took place.

University police said Mr. Holloman and Mr. Mayo are already under investigation for a spring break incident in which Mr. Holloman allowed Mr. Mayo and unauthorized guests access to his room. When officers responded, they reported hearing slapping sounds and, after entering the room, found paddles in a bag.

The graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi, based in State College, is not recognized by the university, and an undergraduate chapter has not been recognized or functioning for a year, Ms. Powers has said. Omega Essence, the "little sister" group, also is not recognized by Penn State.

No charges have been filed, Ms. Powers said. The investigation, involving three police agencies and the Centre County district attorney's office, is ongoing.

Ms. Trowell said last month that she planned to withdraw from the university. Ms. Powers said Penn State has worked out an arrangement that will enable her to complete this semester's coursework from home.

state

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944. First Published May 14, 2012 12:00 AM


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