Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity leader denies hazing

The president of a Penn State Altoona fraternity suspended pending investigations into the suicide of one of its members denies accusations of hazing.

The fraternity’s president, Eric Traister, has retained Hollidaysburg attorney Ted Krol, who said Thursday his client denies all of the specific allegations of hazing.

He said many members of Phi Sigma Kappa have expressed outrage at the inaccuracy of allegations following the suicide of fraternity brother Marquise Braham last Friday in New York.

“All fraternities have their initiation activities,” Krol said.

But he declined to speak specifically what Phi Sigma Kappa’s initiation activities include.

Krol said Traister consulted with him instead of cooperating with campus police because he felt unfairly accused during what he thought was a grieving counseling session on campus after Braham’s death.

Braham jumped to his death off the Marriott Long Island Hotel in Nassau County, N.Y., on March 14. Braham’s family believes hazing might have been the reason for the suicide.

Penn State Altoona and Logan Township police are investigating.

“Apparently there was a grieving counseling session,” Krol said. “Police were available if anyone wanted to talk about Marquise. Some kids who spoke with police found that what they thought was a grieving session turned out to be a rather aggressive cross-examination.”

The national headquarters for the fraternity announced the Altoona chapter’s probation on Thursday.