Phi Kappa Psi suspended

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity has been temporarily suspended, after the University received an anonymous tip last month accusing the organization of hazing.

Tara Pereira, assistant dean of students and director of Student Judicial Services, said the University is in the process of conducting an investigation into the alleged hazing, but declined to answer additional questions.

“The chapter’s recognition is currently suspended on an interim basis, pending the outcome of the investigation,” Pereira said in an e-mail.

News of the fraternity’s suspension spread quickly, as did rumors about the incident, but few facts have been made available to the Greek-letter community or public, including the process for investigating hazing, or why the University moved quickly to suspend the fraternity after an anonymous tip.

Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak said members of the fraternity requested an expedited review because of the upcoming townhouse distribution to Greek-letter groups.

Pereira did not return request for comment on protocol for investigating hazing allegations and did not say if the allegation came from a person affiliated with the organization. Questions regarding details of the hazing allegation and potential consequences if the allegations are true also went unanswered

Chas Pressner, president of the Interfraternity Council, said the IFC is not involved in the investigation and that he has not been given any information about the matter.

Phi Psi President Jack Bermingham declined to comment, instead directing questions to the executive director of the fraternity’s national office, Shawn Collinsworth.

Collinsworth said Phi Kappa Psi’s national headquarters already conducted their own investigation into the allegations and “found no evidence to prove there was hazing.”

With a decision on Greek-letter housing slated to be returned Monday, Collinsworth said he hopes the University will not hold these allegations against the fraternity.

“As the executive director of Phi Kappa Psi, I would hope the University would fully investigate this before they levy any decision on housing,” Collinsworth said. “But the decision is ultimately up to [the] administration of George Washington University.”

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