Fifth College of Charleston Fraternity Closed Due to Misconduct
The closure was announced following a lawsuit involving fraternity members and the alleged beating of a student in April.
A fifth fraternity at the College of Charleston has been forced to close following investigations into several reported incidents of misconduct.
The Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was closed by school officials in July, reports the Post and Courier, following an investigation that started on May 19.
Pi Kappa Phi is the fifth fraternity to be kicked off the college campus in the last year. Among those are Beta Theta Pi, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Nu and Kappa Alpha Order.
Incidents involving Pi Kappa Phi members, dating back to February 11, were reviewed by the college.
According to the school’s spokesman Ron Menchaca, the probe looked into “incidents involving alcohol, drugs, and hazing”. The investigation wrapped up on July 26 and the fraternity was ordered to close immediately.
Menchaca says the fraternity will be able to reopen in the 2019 fall semester.
Fraternity Assault Lawsuit
The closure was announced following a lawsuit involving fraternity members and the alleged beating of a student back in April.
Named in the lawsuit are the fraternity’s national organization, the College of Charleston chapter, the national fraternity’s property management arm, the chapter advisor, two national organization employees and four undergraduate fraternity members.
The alleged victim’s attorney Mark Peper says his client attended an initiation party at the fraternity on April 15. After lots of drinking, he punched a man who was speaking with his ex-girlfriend.
His client was removed from the party and returned to his nearby apartment.
A member of the fraternity subsequently sent him a Facebook message, threatening to send people to his apartment to “bury him”.
Later that evening, four members of the fraternity broke into his apartment and beat him, according to court documents.
Documents also alleged that the chapter’s advisor instructed members to “take all action necessary” in order to prevent the man from contacting the police or getting medical treatment.
Peper claims fraternity members threatened his client with repercussions that would occur if he went to the hospital.
Additional Fraternity Closures
As for the other four Charleston fraternities that closed this year, some were forced to do so by university officials and others by the chapters’ corresponding national organizations.
Alpha Epsilon Pi closed in late August 2016 after a 17-year-old freshman told police she was raped at a party hosted by the fraternity.
Kappa Alpha Order closed in September 2016 after it was discovered that the 2014 chapter president was involved in an off-campus drug ring.
Sigma Nu closed in October 2016 after members violated the chapter’s probation.
Beta Theta Pi closed in April 2017 following chapter violations such as hosting unregistered parties with alcohol, marijuana use and hazing.