This article was originally published on The Huffington Post by Nina Golgowski on March 2, 2017.
A college student with a severe peanut allergy is lucky to be alive after members of a fraternity smeared his face with peanut butter during a hazing ritual at Central Michigan University, his mother says.
Teresa Seely shared photos of her son Andrew’s swollen face on Facebook Wednesday, imploring people to share her post about the hazing stunt.
“This is a picture of what they did to him. He has a deadly peanut allergy and they rubbed peanut butter on his face while he was passed out,” she said.
Seely said the incident took place last fall, but her son ― who has since transferred to another school ― only just told her about it. She identified his former fraternity as Alpha Chi Rho, which CMU said is not a recognized fraternity and is located off-campus.
“They were removed for hazing in 2011,” Heather Smith, CMU’s director of communications, told The Huffington Post on Thursday. “They tried to appeal last fall, but they were denied.”
Seely told the Detroit Free Press she wasn’t sure why her son had only just reported the incident.
Because the case is a potential criminal matter, Smith said CMU has contacted local police and the school’s office of student conduct.
“We responded immediately,” she said.
Mount Pleasant police confirmed to HuffPost that the department became aware of the incident this week, but said that, as of Thursday, no report has been filed to launch a police investigation.
It’s not clear whether the individual or individuals who put peanut butter on Andrew Seely’s face knew he had an allergy.
One student, who identified himself as an Alpha Chi Rho fraternity member and declined to give his name, told local station WDIV that members of the frat weren’t aware of his allergy.
“It was just a joke, trying to be funny and put it on his face,” the student said. “We didn’t know he was allergic. It was just college students being kids.”
Members of Alpha Chi Rho told WDIV they offered to pay Seely’s medical bills at the time of the incident.
“We’re sorry to his family that just trying to be funny made it look like we were violent,” the student said. “We were not trying to be violent in any sense.”
Teresa Seely and the local and national chapters of Alpha Chi Rho did not immediately return requests for comment on Thursday.