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University of Central Oklahoma suspends cheerleading squad for alleged hazing incident



(NEW YORK) — Administrators at the University of Central Oklahoma announced Saturday that it suspended its cheerleading squad’s operations and activities for the remainder of the school year while it investigates an alleged hazing incident.

School president Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar did not offer details about the reported hazing involving the cheerleaders in her letter but said that the school immediately began an investigation into the matter.

“Hazing of any kind has no place at the university and will not be tolerated,” she wrote.

In addition to suspending the team’s activities, Neuhold-Ravikumar announced the team will not be allowed to participate in national competitions for two years.

If any member is found to have been responsible for the “unacceptable and abhorrent activities,” they will face punishments including removal from the team and suspension from the school, the president said.

Members who are not found to be responsible will still have to “undergo a membership review process and may be given the opportunity to try out for next year’s team,” according to Neuhold-Ravikumar.

“The UCO cheer team should embody the spirit of our community — encouraging us to give our best effort and to represent our university with pride and dignity,” she said. “We consider our student organizations an extension of the university community and its values, and we are committed to maintaining those standards.”

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