The national organization of Pi Kappa Phi shut down its GW chapter this month.
The chapter was under investigation after DC Leaks hacked the personal email account of a White House staffer and alumnus, which included messages from Pi Kappa Phi’s Listserv from February 2015 to June 2016. GW’s Greek life official said in a message sent to students that the chapter was shut down after officials found information that showed the group had violated University standards.
Christina Witkowicki, the director of student involvement and Greek life, announced the closure in an Oct. 24 statement sent to some members of Greek organizations, which was obtained by The Hatchet.
“As a result of information that surfaced recently detailing ‘Code of Student Conduct’ violations, Pi Kappa Phi National Headquarters has decided to suspend the charter of the Theta Zeta Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at The George Washington University, closing the chapter,” Witkowicki said.
The Center for Student Engagement and the Interfraternity Council will continue to work with Pi Kappa Phi regarding future reestablishment “when it is mutually appropriate for all parties involved,” Witkowicki said in the email.
Pi Kappa Phi’s national headquarters did not return multiple requests for comment.
University spokeswoman Kurie Fitzgerald said GW works with Greek chapters’ national organizations to investigate potential code of conduct violations.
“The University works in partnership with national organizations in investigating all allegations, and the decision by a national organization to close a collegiate chapter is made internally by the national organization and may be based on a number of factors,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald added the University’s Greek life staff will continue to support the more than 3,000 Greek life members on campus in their philanthropic projects.
“GW values the contributions of the fraternities and sororities present on campus, and we continue our commitment to ensuring the safe and positive membership experiences our community expects,” Fitzgerald said.
Brandon Capece, the Interfraternity Council president, and Andrew Jones, the president of the Pi Kappa Phi chapter, did not return requests for comment. The chapter is still listed on the IFC website.
Pi Kappa Phi was under disciplinary and social probation until Dec. 31, 2015 for hosting a registered off-campus event with alcohol where several attendees – some of whom were underage – had to be treated at a hospital for overconsumption of alcohol. The chapter had been on social restriction until June 30.
This is the fifth Greek life chapter to get shut down on campus since 2014. Alpha Epsilon Pi and Tau Kappa Epsilon both closed in 2014, Delta Gamma shut down in 2015 and Sigma Phi Epsilon closed this summer.
The hacked Gmail account that detailed Pi Kappa Phi’s potential violations belonged to Ian Mellul, who graduated last year with a degree in political science and is currently working on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and for the White House, The New York Times reported. The Secret Service claimed to be aware of the hacks in September, which included a copy of First Lady Michelle Obama’s passport, The Hill reported.
The email hack included Listserv messages instructing members to watch out for puking pledges, contributing to a slush fund and anti-semitic remarks calling members “Jewish” for not donating to philanthropic events. Mellul responded to the chain, warning one member that using derogatory language could get the chapter in trouble.
“This is such a bad violation of recruitment policies and nationals could royally fuck us if they wanted to… I’m not being a narc but you gotta at least keep a clean paper,” he wrote.
An April 2016 email reprimanded two fraternity members for yelling “fuck you you fucking faggot” at their gay neighbor for 20 minutes during a party, which allegedly led the neighbor to consider pressing criminal charges.
“He was actually cool about the last one we had and never threatened to charge us with serving alcohol to minors,” the email read. “Needless to say there will be no kegger here so I hope you all enjoyed the last shire party.”
During the chapter’s disciplinary and social probation period, Pi Kappa Phi hosted an unregistered mixer with the Chi Omega chapter, as revealed in a February 2015 email.
“We got a mixer tomorrow night with the lovely ladies of Chi Omega. Theme is Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes (they are telling sisters its Golf Pros and Tennis Chi-Os but we all know the truth),” according to the email.