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UT: Frat members could face charges in investigation

Megan Boehnke, The Knoxville News-Sentinel • Dec 17, 2015 at 5:34 PM

(MCT) - Pi Kappa Phi members could face criminal charges in the hazing allegations that forced the fraternity to close its University of Tennessee chapter last week, school officials said Monday.

Some students questioned in the hazing investigation reported they'd been harassed by fraternity members of the Alpha Sigma Chapter, according to the university.

A parent of a pledge called UT police on Nov. 22 to report that his son had been physically and verbally attacked during fraternity rituals, according to documents released by the university Monday. A photograph of a new member bleeding after fraternity activities was provided to police, according to the documents.

The fraternity was already on disciplinary probation for a hazing incident in the spring.

UT Police and Student Life launched a new investigation, which is still ongoing, and reported it to the Pi Kappa Phi national headquarters.

The national organization sent the university a letter Friday announcing it would close the UT chapter. It cannot return until 2017.

Students who live in the house will be allowed to stay through finals on Dec. 12, but they must find new accommodations for the spring. They will be allowed to apply for other campus housing, UT said.

UT's Office of Judicial Affairs also sent a notice of charges to students involved.

The fraternity has also been involved in at least five alcohol-related infractions this semester, including four in November, according to UT police reports.

On Sept. 28, police spotted a fraternity member with a bottle of whiskey inside the house. Police confiscated the alcohol and issued a misdemeanor citation for underage drinking.

On Nov. 2, police visited the house twice in the early morning hours. Two students were arrested about 1:30 a.m. on charges of public intoxication and underage consumption, while one of the two also received a count for indecent exposure after he was seen relieving himself on a mini van.

Officers returned about 2:55 a.m. to find a fraternity member and female student outside acting strangely. He was cited for public intoxication and she was cited for underage drinking.

On Nov. 15, a student was vomiting on the corner of the Pi Kappa Phi house and ran from police when he was approached, according to records. While the student escaped, police went inside to find two underage female students hiding in the bathroom. The women received a verbal warning.

On Nov. 24, while following up on another investigation, a police officer found a fraternity member passed out in the commons area. He was arrested for underage drinking and public intoxication.

Pi Kappa Phi is the third fraternity to close its UT chapter for disciplinary reasons in less than two years.

Phi Gamma Delta, known as Fiji, closed its chapter in May 2012 after a series of incidents.

Pi Kappa Alpha, known as Pike, closed in fall 2012 after one of its members landed in the hospital for alcohol poisoning. Police reports showed the incident involved a wine enema.

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