U.Va. ends fraternal organization agreements with Kappa Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta following hazing investigation – The Cavalier Daily

Besides the arguments of elitism and discrimination in fraternities, hazing has long been at the center center national calls to reform Greek life. Despite the death toll and continued reports of hazing, however, researchers have detailed a long the story colleges struggling to make meaningful changes to ingrained cultures of fraternity and sisterhood life.

At the University, the Greek organizations enter into Fraternal organization agreements which specify the nature of each group’s relationship to the school – namely, that the two groups exist independently of each other, but derive “mutual benefit” from it. According to the University’s FOA 2021-22, these agreements may be terminated by either party with or without cause.

The last time an FOA was terminated on Grounds was in 2014, when the University terminated its agreements with Sigma Nu and Pi Kappa Alpha due to hazing violations. Pi Kappa Alpha said he planned to appeal the decision, and in 2015 reported it had taken a class of new members. Naked Sigma recolonized in 2018, and this spring were found guilty of violating IFC standards regarding alcohol and social events twice.

Yet Greek life at the University continued to be criticized – more recently, thanks to continued and confirmed cases of Greek organizations violating public health guidelines throughout the pandemic, Greek life at the university remained the subject of fierce debate.

Now, hazing has returned to center stage. By the University Hazing Misconduct ReportPhi Gamma Delta and Kappa Alpha’s FOA agreements were terminated following hazing this spring by the two fraternities.

Hazing is against both universities Politics and Virginia right. Friday, hundreds new state laws took effect in Virginia. This includes Adam’s Lawlegislation named after Adam Oakes, 19, who deceased in February 2021 while promising Delta Chi at Virginia Commonwealth University. The legislation mandates anti-hazing training for fraternities and sororities starting this fall, and also requires institutions to provide public reporting of hazing violations.

In an email to the Greek Life Community on Wednesday, Dorothea Mack, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Alex Winkowski, Deputy Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said the University will soon be providing more information about this mandatory training. The pair also said the University will update this information at least 10 calendar days before the start of each semester.

According to this spring’s report, five Greek organizations have been found guilty of hazing misconduct – Kappa Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Delta Delta Delta and Theta Tau.

Hazing reports that did not result in a statement of liability are not included — 17 reports were filed in the 2021-22 academic year, but only five appear in the report.

Out of the five chapters, the University terminated FOAs with two fraternities – Phi Gamma Delta and Kappa Alpha. Neither will be allowed to return to the pitches for four years.

In an emailed statement to the Cavalier Daily, Kayvon Samadani, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council and rising fourth-year student, said the IFC “fervently” opposes the hazing and supports the University’s decision. to end the two chapters. Samadani clarified that IFC and ISC officials were not involved in any of the investigations and had no prior knowledge of any proceedings before the report was released, other than notification that investigations were underway.

“Their actions are unacceptable and completely contradict the values ​​of the Inter-Brotherhood Council and its members,” Samadani said. “The IFC condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms. We remain committed to helping the University investigate serious incidents such as those that have occurred at both organizations.

Phi Gamma Delta, commonly referred to as Fiji among students, was found responsible for an incident that occurred on February 15 during the spring engagement process. As a result of the hazing incident, five individual students were referred to the university’s Judiciary Committee, which adjudicates violations of the university’s standards of conduct, and the chapter’s FOA agreement was terminated.

According to the report, a new member was injured after being hit in the eye with an egg as part of a hazing ritual. The new promises were blindfolded and instructed to consume a variety of foods, including combinations of milk, bananas and mayonnaise. A member vomited. The new members were then instructed to sit on the wall while eggs were thrown from the ceiling and the walls around them. At this point, a pledge was hit in the eye by an egg. Witnesses reported that he asked to be taken to hospital, but no attempt was made to call for medical assistance.

Under Virginia law, hazing resulting in bodily harm must be reported to the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, which has the authority to take appropriate action.

In an emailed statement to the Cavalier Daily, Marsh Pattie, chairman of the Hazing Assessment Committee and assistant vice president for student affairs, confirmed that at least one organization had been reported to the Commonwealth Prosecutor following of the group’s investigation findings due to “body harm” caused during the hazing process. Pattie said he was not aware of any other criminal investigations related to the report.

After being contacted by the Cavalier Daily in May about the termination of Phi Gamma Delta, University spokesman Brian Coy said the University had “moved quickly” to provide new members with resources after being informed of the incident.

Nick Fertitta, president of Fiji and rising fourth-year student, declined to comment on the incident.

Like Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Alpha’s FOA was also terminated by the University following the findings of the investigation. According to the report, Kappa Alpha engaged in misconduct between February and May, the commitment period for new members who chose to join a fraternity.

The report details that the new members were confined to a bathroom together and told to smoke all the cigarettes in their ‘pledge packs’, hit with coat hangers and ordered to drink 30 packs of beer. in small groups as part of “case races.”

On at least five or six occasions, new members were also smeared with hot sauce on their necks and backs. During initiation, new members were sprinkled with water – then flour was thrown at them to stick to their bodies.

New members were also required to perform push-ups and wall sits, drive current brothers to various locations in Charlottesville, and clean the chapter house each week – where they were prohibited from using the bathroom or any furniture. . Pledges also had to carry certain items at all times, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco and lighters.

Phi Kappa Psi was also disciplined following a hazing investigation.

“They did not believe the new members were entirely truthful, transparent or forthright in the investigative process,” the report said. “Investigators have based this concern on the multitude of inconsistencies in statements provided by new members and the chapter president that go beyond what a reasonable person would consider normal deviations in memory or experience of a shared event.”

The report notes that at a party on February 10, new members of the fraternity were instructed to wear white while the brothers wore black, and there was a ‘suggestion’ that the shirts were going to be branded. by new brothers.

When asked if the University would refer any brothers to the honor committee for inconsistencies found during the investigation, Pattie said the fraternity was only disciplined in the manner described in the report.

The chapter was sanctioned with an abbreviated 10-day new member education period – as opposed to the national organization period up to six weeks – and a mandatory hazing prevention program for all new members.

Phi Kappa Psi and Kappa Alpha could not be reached for comment as contact details for their boards remain out of date on IFC. website.

The report also detailed instances of “lower level” hazing.

Tri Delta and Theta Tau were referred to the UJC for a formal ruling after the organizations were found responsible for lower levels of hazing behavior. At the time of publication, neither group has responded to requests for comment.

Tri Delta held a party and mix on February 4 with St. Elmo’s fraternity called “The Scare”, during which a current member of the sorority told new members that the group had been flagged for a violation of the alcohol. The current member told new members that she would take a picture of them and someone should reveal who reported them. Later, the current member came back to the room and explained that the situation was a joke to scare off the new members.

New members of Theta Tau had to perform services for the brothers, such as buying coffee or dragging them into the dining halls. Those who failed to complete these tasks were given derogatory nicknames or had to collect signatures in a public place for a bogus petition.

A total of five students and two chapters were referred to UJC following a hazing this spring. Although the UJC discipline five fraternities and six individual students last semester for violating its standards of conduct, the group spring 2022 report noted that eight cases remained pending as of 1 May.

When a hazing report is filed, the dean of students first responds to the report and refers it to a hazing assessment committee chaired by the assistant vice president for student affairs, who is responsible for legal affairs. Other panel members include representatives from student affairs — including fraternity and sorority life and student engagement — the University Police Department, and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights.

The panel determines the validity of the report and decides whether or not it is actionable. If it is in fact an actionable report, the panel and the dean will appoint investigators who will interview the parties involved, witnesses, and the president or other senior leaders of the organization.

Serious hazing or hazing that threatens the health or safety of students may result in the suspension or termination of the chapter’s agreement with the University. Otherwise, the Dean will refer the organization to UJC for decision. In first offenses of minor gravity, the dean may require educational programs instead of filing formal charges.

These procedures are not the result of Adam’s Law, and iterations of these have been in place since 2016, according to Pattie.

The University offers several options for report hazing. Individuals can submit a report by Just report itcontact the Dean on call or call the hazing hotline at 434-243-HAZE.

Aubrey L. Morgan