UA suspends fraternity Phi Gamma Delta

2014-07-10T00:00:00Z UA suspends fraternity Phi Gamma DeltaBy Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A fraternity has been suspended by the UA for reported violations of the student code of conduct, including serving alcohol to minors and hazing of new members, officials said Wednesday.

Phi Gamma Delta was investigated by UA police following the death of one of its members, who fell from a cooling tower on the roof of a dorm April 4.

Freshman Michael Evan Anderson, 19, had attended a party at the fraternity, nicknamed Fiji, hours before he died.

Anderson died when he fell off the tower on the roof of the three-story Colonia de la Paz dorm, 602 N. Highland Ave.

An autopsy report showed Anderson had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.

Also, fraternity chapter President Spencer Shugrue and Vice President Parker Bellinger are facing misdemeanor charges involving minors being served alcohol at unregistered events.

The fraternity house is at 1801 E. First St.

The UA police investigation could not determine if the fraternity played a role in Anderson’s death, which has been ruled an accident, said Officer Joe Bermudez, a campus police spokesman.

He said investigators could not determine if Anderson was “served or consumed liquor on his own,” at the fraternity or “consumed elsewhere.”

However, according to the police complaint to Dean of Students Kendal Washington White, investigators reported that the fraternity “hosted unregistered events where alcohol was provided and served to minors on multiple occasions,” totaling 20 instances from December to April, including two instances in April.

Shugrue and Bellinger face charges of “allowing a gathering at an unlicensed premise with two or more persons who are under the legal drinking age, and knowing that one or more of the underage persons is in possession of or consuming liquor on the unlicensed premises,” said Bermudez.

Shugrue and Bellinger are set for arraignment July 23 in Pima County Justice Court, Bermudez said.

White said the police complaint led to the fraternity’s “interim suspension of recognition” and the university has launched an administrative investigation into the reported violations of the student code of conduct.

The fraternity “must cease all activity on the UA campus” effective immediately, White said Wednesday, pending outcome of the administrative investigation. She said such a suspension is initiated “when an organization is deemed to present a substantial risk to the members of the university community.”

At the time of the violations found by police, the fraternity was on probation, White said. It also was barred from hosting events with alcohol through February 2014.

The police complaint also includes:

  • Allegations that the chapter president instructed members to deny alcohol presence to police and to hide activities from the UA and the national Phi Gamma Delta organization.
  • Marijuana use at the fraternity house.
  • Members kicking a new member in the stomach.
  • Multiple occasions of hazing of new members.

The fraternity’s national office is aware of the police complaint and is working with the university in the investigation, White said.

She said the national organization has revoked the fraternity’s charter until the investigation is complete.

It is up to the national office to “determine if the men can remain in the house or not,” said White, adding that during the school year the fraternity chapter has up to 60 members.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at cduarte@azstarnet.com or 573-4104.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

The Star's public safety reporters comb through police reports, and tell you what you've missed.

Police Beat updates

Deals, offers & events

View more...