GW investigates Pi Kappa Alpha

Student Judicial Services is investigating the GW chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha for the hospitalization of a pledge, which may be linked to an alcohol-related fraternity pledge event, said Mike Walker, senior assistant dean for the Community Living and Learning Center.

“We’re investigating (Pi Kappa Alpha) among other fraternities,” Walker said. He said more information will be available this week.

A University Police Department report, submitted Oct. 24, cites an incident related to a Greek-letter organization that may have involved fraternity pledging, a UPD official said.

The report said that at 3:30 a.m. the same night, an intoxicated student was treated at the GW Hospital emergency room, the UPD official said.

The victim confirmed he was one of four members of the fraternity’s fall pledge class, and that the incident which caused his hospitalization was alcohol-related.

The victim, however, refused further comment.

A Greek-letter community source, who requested anonymity, said the incident that led to the victim’s hospitalization was a Pi Kappa Alpha pledge event.

If the investigation of Pi Kappa Alpha finds evidence proving the fraternity had an alcohol-related pledge event, the Greek-letter organization will be disciplined by the University.

GW’s policy on hazing is defined as, “Any action taken or situation created . to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule,” according to the 1997-’98 University Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Pi Kappa Alpha members refused to comment on the allegations. President Leonard Semon said, “We don’t have a comment until all the facts have been gathered and proven, and all the sides have been shown.”

The fraternity is investigating the situation and is abiding by the GW Interfraternity Council rules that call for a zero-tolerance policy, according to Semon.

In the wake of hazing incidents at Louisiana State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which sparked nationwide concern about alcohol-related pledging, IFC reaffirmed having no tolerance for hazing.

Ethan Baumfeld, IFC president, said, “A zero-tolerance policy means that all fraternities stand united against hazing.

“In light of hazing around the country, I think our fraternity presidents have made sure that even the very perception of hazing does not reach the GW community,” Baumfeld said. “And, for the most part, they have been successful.”

If Pi Kappa Alpha is found to have violated the zero-tolerance policy, a hearing in the Greek-letter organization judicial will take place, Walker said.

This board will make recommendations concerning the hearing to Dean of Students Linda Donnels, Assistant Dean of Students Jan-Mitchell Sherrill and Walker, who would make the final decision.

Walker said the suspension of Pi Kappa Alpha by its international office from Dec. 19 to Jan. 19 of last year will not weigh positively in the fraternity’s favor.

The fraternity was suspended after several pledges were blindfolded and had food condiments placed on their bodies while on the roof of the Statesman apartment building on F Street last November, according to several pledges last year.

During the months of October and November, which is part of pledge season, CLLC always investigates rumors concerning hazing, Sherrill said.

“During pledging, we always keep our ears open,” Sherrill said. “I don’t know if hazing is widespread or if rumors are widespread. I would like to think the latter. I would like to think that GW fraternities and sororities do not haze.”

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