The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity at East Carolina University was placed on interim suspension on Wednesday, October 24, due to allegations of drug use. This marks the fifth fraternity to be suspended at East Carolina State University this year.
As a result of the suspension, Pi Kappa Phi is banned from all chapter operations, including hosting social events. The fraternity chapter will be closed until at least the conclusion of the Spring 2021 semester.
In addition to the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Tau, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Delta Chi, have all also been suspended due to various ECU code of conduct violations.
The school says that the closure is due to hazing and alcohol violations.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia D. Hardy released the following statement about the fraternity’s suspension:
On October 23, the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity announced the closure of their chapter at ECU effective immediately through at least the conclusion of the Spring 2021 semester.
In August 2018, the National Fraternity alerted ECU about allegations and incidents that occurred in the previous academic year, and that the chapter had been placed on a cease and desist while an investigation was conducted.
ECU worked with and supported the National Fraternity throughout the investigation and fully supports the decision. This closure is a result of violations of both university and National Fraternity policies including alcohol and hazing.
A vibrant fraternity and sorority community should be grounded in the values of service, leadership, campus involvement, and student success. Further, ECU is committed to student safety and work actively to educate our students on critical issues facing Greek-letter organizations nationwide. We are also committed to holding organizations and students accountable for actions that do not meet expectations.
This closure does not preclude any individual student conduct cases that may result from this investigation. We will continue our efforts, along with our alumni volunteers and national/international organization partners, to strengthen our campus fraternities, sororities, and all student organizations as a key part of the student experience at ECU.
The suspension of Pi Kappa Phi at East Carolina University is the latest major fraternity or sorority lawsuit, investigation, suspension or closure in the last year, as schools such as Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Wake Forest University, Ohio State University, Texas State, Florida State, Ball State, Louisiana State University, and Penn State have all suspended fraternities in the wake of hazing and alcohol deaths.
These reports come amidst similar allegations that have been made against fraternities nationwide, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon at East Carolina University, who was shut down for hazing and the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter at the University of Arkansas which has been accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of women without their permission.
In response to incidents like these, fraternities such Phi Kappa Psi have made numerous changes to their code of conduct in an effort to address the issues that have arisen. In addition, schools such as Texas State, West Virginia University, and Penn State University have introduced new Greek Life rules to try and prevent these problems.