Online Athens Herold

The University of Georgia’s Pi Kappa Phi fraternity was placed on a one-year suspension effective Sept. 7 after admitting to a “sustained hazing of University students” as detailed in an informal resolution agreement with the university’s Office of Student Conduct.

This is not the first time Pi Kappa Phi faced a yearlong penalty — in 2010 the Lambda chapter was suspended following allegations some of its members paddled pledges during a fall initiation. In that instance, the chapter president admitted the fraternity violated several UGA regulations, including “physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, coercion and/or other behavior that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person.”

While not fully detailed in the informal resolution, the present suspension stems from events last month. According to the document, “the three individuals responsible for the electronic message sent to associate members of the Chapter … as well as all individuals present and participating in hazing activities occurring on August 24, 2016, shall be prohibited from having any involvement in the operations or activities of the Chapter and shall be ineligible to regain their status as an undergraduate member of the Chapter as part of the membership review outlined herein,” the resolution states, adding “the National Fraternity shall adjudicate conduct cases for each of these individuals, recommending their expulsion from Pi Kappa Phi.”

Pi Kappa Phi president Hunter Kelly signed the informal resolution in which the fraternity takes “full responsibility for the incident” and waives the right to a formal disciplinary hearing and appeal.

Under the terms of the suspension, all fraternity activities are suspended and the “Chapter is officially closed.“ The chapter is eligible to re-register with the UGA Greek Life Office on Sept. 1, 2017. Upon re-registration the chapter will be on probation through Dec. 15, 2019.

While this year’s pledges have the opportunity to be initiated into Pi Kappa Phi following a review from the national fraternity, present members will also be subject to review by the national fraternity and the “results of the membership review, including but not limited to the status of each individual reviewed, must be provided to the Office of Student Conduct no later than December 15, 2016,” according to the resolution.

The members can reconvene on Aug. 1, 2017 to prepare for next year’s recruitment and select new officers, but “no member holding a leadership position in the Chapter as of August 24, 2016, may be selected to hold a leadership position moving forward.”

As for any initiations in the future, the resolution requires “a representative of the National Fraternity, Chapter Advisor, and/or alumnus approved by the UGA Greek Life Office must be present at all Chapter initiations and Ritual(s).” The fraternity must also tell UGA Greek Life the date, time, and location of any initiation two weeks in advance.

The Lambda chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was founded in Athens in 1915 and boasts more than 100 members. The fraternity house is located at 930 South Milledge Avenue.

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