University of Arizona fraternity closed over chronic misconduct

Incidents included underage drinking, hazing, alcohol abuse
2013-04-08T00:00:00Z 2014-08-05T11:03:00Z University of Arizona fraternity closed over chronic misconductCarol Ann Alaimo Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Another University of Arizona fraternity has been felled by one party too many.

The local chapter of Pi Kappa Phi had been in trouble 14 times since 2010 for incidents including hazing and underage booze bashes that ended with students being hospitalized for excessive alcohol consumption, UA officials said

In the hazing incidents, new fraternity members were deprived of proper food and sleep, they said.

After repeated fines, warnings and stints on probation, the chapter recently was shut down after dual investigations by the UA and the fraternity's national headquarters.

Local members of the fraternity could not be reached for comment.

The closure marks the fourth time in 15 months that a UA fraternity has been shut down for chronic troublemaking.

"The national organization expects our students to uphold and abide by the fraternity's risk management policy and standards of conduct," said a statement by Mark E. Timmes, CEO of Pi Kappa Phi headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.

"When chapters are unable to conform to those expectations, the national fraternity has to make the difficult choice to close."

The local chapter, nicknamed "Pi Kapps," racked up a long list of violations that put students in peril, said the UA's Chrissy Lieberman, an associate dean of students.

Since 2010, they included:

• At least three occasions in which frat members or female party guests ended up in a hospital for excessive alcohol consumption.

• At least 18 cases of underage drinking at the fraternity's parties.

• Hazing of new members in January 2012 and again in January 2013 after having been warned, counseled and fined $250 for the earlier incident.

The chapter was fined at least three times since 2010. Members were made to attend alcohol education sessions and to perform hundreds of hours of community service work.

Because problems continued and posed a danger to students, officials eventually felt they had no choice but to force a shutdown, the UA's Lieberman said.

Failure to do so would be irresponsible "when high-risk behavior is evident, and persistent and educational sanctioning has been exhausted," she said.

She said the UA has stepped up efforts in recent years to educate incoming fraternity members and their families about alcohol abuse and hazing. That may be why they seem more willing to come forward and file complaints, she said.

• In September 2012, the UA chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon was shut down over several hazing allegations.

• In January that year, the local chapter of Phi Kappa Psi was kicked out over allegations of hazing, underage drinking and of lying to try to cover up wrongdoing.

• In April 2012, Delta Chi's local chapter was stripped of recognition by the UA for repeated violations that "presented a threat to the health and safety of members."

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at calaimo@azstarnet.com or at 573-4138.

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