A University of Washington fraternity has been expelled from the school's Interfraternity Council for an evening of hazing that involved sheep.
The council voted last night to disallow the fraternity from participating in the body's sanctioned events, such as Greek Week and Homecoming, for violating rules against mistreating animals during initiation rites.
Police interrupted initiation rites at Theta Xi fraternity Jan. 12, sending several embarrassed fraternity pledges to their rooms and two bewildered sheep to the pound.
The pledges were described in a police incident report as wearing only their underwear and a coating of peanut butter. The sheep were described as appearing ``overheated and agitated.''
Eric Paige, vice president of the Theta Xi chapter, said the fraternity will appeal and is eager to tell its side of the story.
``We've been told by the council not to speak to the press, and we were advised this would be a slap on the wrist,'' Paige said. ``It obviously has not been that. Theta Xi has taken this seriously from the beginning, and the sheep were taken care of in the best manner possible.''
The sheep, brought to the house by a Theta Xi member for the fraternity's annual Hell Week initiations, apparently were unharmed and were turned over to animal-control officers.
A Seattle police spokesman, Mark Amundson, said authorities are considering what, if any, charges to file in the incident.
The council, made up of representatives from each of the 32 fraternities at the UW, adopted the anti-hazing policy last year after members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity dropped a chicken to its death from a balcony in Kane Hall on campus.
About a dozen house officers and pledges were placed on disciplinary probation by the UW College of Arts and Sciences for participating in that incident.
Many UW fraternities have given up Hell Week altogether because of its bad reputation, said John Tribble, vice president of the Interfraternity Council. Across the country, hazing has led to injury or death of pledges.
``They realize this was a stupid mistake,'' Tribble said. ``They don't deny having the sheep in the house, and they say they were just trying to scare their pledges.''