CSU, Chico News

University Suspends Two Fraternities for Violations

Date: 05-07-2013

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico suspended Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity for three years and Sigma Chi fraternity for two years yesterday, May 6, for violations to University policies governing social Greek letter organizations.

The organizations received word of the suspensions yesterday by letter from C.C. Carter, director of Student Life and Leadership.

The suspensions mean the fraternities cannot have any chapter activities and must take their letters down from chapter houses. Members who live in houses will not be asked to move.

Pi Kappa Alpha has 53 active members and 38 new members (pledges), and Sigma Chi has 48 active members and 15 new members (pledges).

Pi Kappa Alpha was suspended for hosting an "Around the World" progressive party April 13 at three different private homes in downtown Chico. Alcohol was available at all three houses. No social functions, even excluding alcohol, were permitted this spring for Greek chapters. Pi Kappa Alpha was expressly warned by Student Life and Leadership staff not to hold the April 13th party, but they did so anyway.

Sigma Chi was suspended after beer making by one of its officers was discovered in the chapter house. All Greek chapter houses are required to be alcohol-free, and the manufacture of alcoholic beverages by a recognized university organization is a violation of the state Education Code. Sigma Chi was already on probation for hosting a party in August 2012 at an annex house that was in violation of University Greek guidelines.

The University notified the national organizations of Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Chi about the suspensions.

At the conclusion of the suspensions, students, working with the chapters’ national organizations, can apply to be reinstated.

“The University has said that we will have an exemplary Greek system, or we will have none at all,” President Paul Zingg said. “Most of the members of our fraternities and sororities support this goal. Unfortunately, these two organizations, by their actions, have demonstrated that they either do not believe the seriousness of our intention or have decided that they want no part of it. That's their decision. We have made ours. We move on and forward without them.”

Due to the provisions of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), any sanctions faced by individual students related to the suspensions will not be made public.

This spring, CSU, Chico instituted new guidelines for social Greek organizations. All fraternities and sororities at the University were suspended indefinitely Nov. 15, 2012, following a series of incidents including alcohol policy violations, allegations of hazing, alleged assaults and other violations of rules governing Greek life on campus.

On Feb. 2, university administrators met first with national and regional officers of fraternity and sorority chapters on campus, then with approximately 100 chapter members to go over the process and policies required for reinstatement.

The new guidelines include more stringent event guidelines, recognition standards and sanctions for violations; mandatory attendance at trainings on topics including violence prevention and alcohol abuse; and a new Arête accreditation process that holds chapters to high standards of service, scholarship, leadership, integrity, community, and diversity and inclusion.