Education

Another Cal Poly fraternity is under investigation — for hazing, alcohol and endangerment

What is hazing?

Hazing is any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.
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Hazing is any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.

Cal Poly fraternity Phi Kappa Psi is under investigation again for allegedly violating laws and campus policy, Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier confirmed Wednesday.

The chapter, founded in 1966, was temporarily suspended from activities in which alcohol may be present beginning April 23 while the San Luis Obispo university investigates alleged violation of laws, campus policy, alcohol, hazing, conspiracy to haze and endangerment, according to Cal Poly’s website on sanctions.

Lazier did not provide details of the allegations, saying that Cal Poly does not comment on open investigations.

Eight other Greek Life organizations on campus are currently on sanctions for hazing, including forced drinking, underage drinking, forced push-ups and late-night ocean submersion.

The president of the chapter’s executive board had not returned requests for comment as of Wednesday afternoon.

That Phi Kappa Psi is under investigation does not mean that any violations occurred.

Alpha Chi Omega was under investigation until recently, when the Cal Poly chapter was found to have not violated the Recognized Student Organization Code of Conduct, Lazier said.

Phi Kappa Psi was disciplined in 2015 for hosting unregistered parties, a violation of Cal Poly’s party registration policy adopted after a number of incidents at Greek parties that include a student death and sexual assaults.

Phi Kappa Psi has 105 active chapters operating under a shared mission statement that the fraternity “engages men of integrity, further develops their intellect and enhances community involvement,” according to the fraternity’s website.

In 2018, two other chapters of the fraternity across the nation were disciplined for various violations.

At Ohio State University, Phi Kappa Psi was suspended for four years following an investigation into hazing.

The fraternity’s national headquarters closed its University of Oregon chapter after an investigation into member questions that included homophobic slurs and jokes about rape.

The University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi made national headlines in 2012 when it became the subject of a discredited story in Rolling Stone that was later retracted. The fraternity was temporarily suspended after the magazine published an accusation of gang rape that police found had “no basis.” Rolling Stone later settled a defamation suit with the fraternity.

Hazing is defined by Cal Poly as a method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body likely to cause serious bodily injury and “physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm” to any former, current or prospective student.

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