The Alpha Phi sorority at Cal Poly will be suspended for five months because it allowed a hazing incident to occur at a recent function, according to a university official.
Stephen Lamb, interim director of Cal Poly’s Student Life and Leadership, said in a news release Friday that during a sorority-sponsored event Sept. 28, minors were allowed access to alcohol and were not monitored by Alpha Phi leaders. Rather, the students were put “in situations where they were left to fend for themselves,” and that constituted a form of hazing.
The sorority violated both Cal Poly’s rules of conduct and the California Education Code, Lamb said. “While no one was forced to drink, the women put each other in a position where peer pressure became the driving force in the alcohol poisoning of one of the group’s new members — a member who also isn’t old enough to drink legally according to California state law,” he said in the news release.
The sorority’s headquarters issued a statement Friday saying “while Alpha Phi International disagrees with some aspects of the university’s decision, including the hazing label associated with it, our primary concern is that the former member involved in the incident is OK.”
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The sorority said that “We will respect the probationary period placed upon the chapter by the university, and will partner with the university to further educate our chapter members in making better choices in situations where alcohol is present.”
All activities of the sorority are suspended through March 23, Lamb said. The only gatherings that will be allowed are team-building sessions with an adviser present and no alcohol served.
National Alpha Phi members will be required to provide hazing education to local chapter members during the suspension period, Lamb said, with a goal of determining if the Cal Poly chapter should continue.
Alpha Phi can appeal the disciplinary action to Cornel Morton, vice president for Student Affairs.