Men's club hockey awaiting appeal decision; Tom Idema said issue wasn't just one night
Men’s club hockey team president Matt Cinader submitted a written appeal Wednesday and awaits a decision by Steven Johnson, the vice president for enrollment and student services.
Johnson was free to set up his own procedures or decline the appeal. There is no date set for his decision.
The Central Michigan club team had its five-year penalty reduced to three years in an appeal to the Office of Student Life Oct. 17.
In the appeal, Cinader said he researched 21 cases of other CMU organizations, including clubs sports, varsity sports and fraternities, which were not as severe as the five-year suspension that was originally given.
“We went through each case in the hearing to just explain what their crime was, and what their punishment was and nothing was even close to five years,” Cinader said.
The club was suspended for violating the alcohol and hazing policy covered in the Registered Student Organization Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Disciplinary Procedures.
Tom Idema, assistant director of Student Life, said hazing alone has normally brought a four-year suspension to organizations connected to Central Michigan University since 2007 when hazing became a hot topic.
“Hazing has been a very, very big deal on college campuses,” Idema said. “University administrators and colleges have been sued because they haven’t been tough enough on hazing or done enough.”
He said the men’s club hockey case is about the sixth involving hazing for an organization associated with Central Michigan since 2007.
Facebook was one of the ways evidence was gathered, though Idema said it was not how the violations were discovered.
“It’s not like we go out looking for this,” he said. “I don’t spend my day on Facebook looking for policy violations and things like that.
“But when we’re sent photos, or we’re given a tip or anything like (that), we will certainly look at it and see what’s going on.”
He said it has been misconstrued that the party was the “whole thing.”
“This is not because of a party,” he said. “It’s because of the hazing, the alcohol and much more than one night of that occurrence.”
He would not elaborate on it being more than just one night because the appeal process is still underway.
The team has an off-campus party before the start of every season and Cinader, a three-year member of the team, said he has not seen any hazing.
“We’ve never forced a player to do anything,” Cinader said. “Every player has communicated to the (Office of) Student Life that they weren’t forced to do anything they did not want to do.”
Idema said, “When you talk about hazing in organizations, usually, there’s a culture of these things going on for years and years. It’s typically not one incident.”
The first-year players who were present put on thongs during the party and both sides disagree if it was forced or voluntary.
Cinader called the thongs a gag-gift and said he was not around when they were handed out, though he was at the party.
“It wasn’t a big event,” he said. “It was just kind of something funny.”