4 Are Charged With Hazing in Apparent Drownings of 2 Virginia State U. Students

Four men, including two Virginia State University students, have been charged with hazing in connection with an incident described as an initiation ritual that led to the apparent drowning deaths of two Virginia State freshmen, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The university is located on the Appomattox River in Petersburg, Va., just south of Richmond. The police said the two freshmen vanished between 12:30 and 1 a.m. on Saturday while trying to cross the river during an initiation for a non-university-sanctioned social club known as “Men of Honor.” Divers recovered the body of one of the missing students on Monday afternoon. A search continues for the other.

Students said Men of Honor is a social club that has been around for several years and sponsors parties near campus. VSU spokesman Tom Reed described the group as “an underground, shadow organization” that is not affiliated with, nor sanctioned by, the university. He said a representative of Men of Honor tried to register the group as a campus organization about a year ago “but did not get as far as the application process.”

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