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Kansas St. Frat Chapter Suspended

April 21, 1998

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas State University student was severely beaten with paddle boards, fists and canes in an apparent fraternity hazing ritual, his father said.

Ernest L. Harris Jr., 23, was in serious but stable condition Monday after the beating Saturday at the home of a Kappa Alpha Psi member. The school suspended the four-member chapter.

The fraternity has been linked to hazing at two other universities and settled a $2.25 million lawsuit in 1996 with the family of a man who died after a beating.

Harris suffered kidney injuries that will force him to undergo dialysis, Dr. Ben Cowley told reporters at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Harris’ father, Ernest L. Harris Sr. of Wichita, said his son had welts and bruises across much of his body, especially his buttocks and legs. Harris had dropped out of the initiation process for the same fraternity last year after he was injured, said his father, who offered few details of that incident.

``He stopped it (last year) and said he wasn’t going to go through with it,″ the elder Harris said. ``Then some of his associates made him trust them again, so he went through it again.″

Harris’ fiancee, Jaimee Denby, said the initiation got out of hand because some at the house were drunk. The school said apparently only one member of the Beta Psi Chapter was involved.

Police were investigating.

Five Kappa Alpha Psi pledges at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore were beaten with wooden paddles and canes during a two-month initiation earlier this year, officials said. The pledges required surgery for cuts and infections on their buttocks caused by daily spankings.

The fraternity settled a lawsuit with the family of Michael Davis, who died in 1994 after being beaten, body-slammed and kicked in the chest by fraternity members at Southeast Missouri State University.

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