Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pikes at NAU Suspended for Hazing

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Fraternity suspended for hazing activities
by Cathy Cooksey
On Dec. 2, the Theta Rho Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, commonly known as the “Pikes,” was suspended until Dec. 31, 2013 for violating the Student Code of Conduct by hazing pledges. Northern Arizona University defines hazing as, “Endangering, threatening, or causing physical harm to any member of the university community or to oneself.”

In a Nov. 5 meeting, according to documents released Nov. 13, an unnamed student described the pledge program he participated in during the 2007-2008 academic year.

He described the program as being eight weeks long, followed by a three-day “initiation week.” The unnamed student said for the three weeks prior to initiation week, hazing activities occurred each Wednesday.

The Pi Kappa Alpha Frat was kicked out of Mountain View after they branded new pledges with dry ice along with several other hazing practices. - Ian Horvath/ The Lumberjack

In a Nov. 19 letter, the Theta Rho chapter addressed each allegation of the Nov. 5 meeting.

The first allegation was for “big brother” night, the first of the three Wednesday activities; pledges were blindfolded and pillowcases were placed over their heads. Pledges were placed into trucks and driven to a location off Lake Mary Road. The road was rough and hard on the pledges, and the truck was driven fast.

In response to this allegation, the active members told pledges to dress warm and finish schoolwork before the activities.

“Pledges were asked to put pillowcases over their head to keep the location undisclosed. During the entire transportation, speeds were road-appropriate for college students,” said the letter dated Nov. 19.

Another allegation regarded “glow stick night.” Pledges were taken to the woods wearing blindfolds and pillowcases over their heads. Pledges were told that if they were successful, they could skip initiation week.

Pledges were instructed to search for three glow sticks while fraternity members threw rotten fruit at them, ultimately causing injuries.

According to the letter, however, the Pikes told pledges to dress warmly and wear padded clothes. Pledges were provided with protective goggles and given soft, rotten vegetables. Active members had one dozen eggs to throw for the event and “no serious injury has ever occurred.”

Also according to allegations, pledges were placed in a bathroom on the first night of initiation week with pornographic pictures on the wall where they stayed for two to three hours. They were later served breakfast made of “rotten cheese, rotten tomatoes, etc., which was described as a ‘soup.’”

In their defense, the Pikes said “Pornographic magazines, along with other magazines (in the bathroom), belonged to the house tenants…but (were) never posted.” The Pikes said pledges were served breakfast including “Spaghetti-o’s, Hormel chili, Spam, green chilies, Tang, olives, whole beets and limburger cheese topped with Fruit Loops. Everything was either fresh or canned.”

The fraternity was further accused of “branding” pledges’ buttocks with dry ice, leaving “many types of injuries including bruising, blistering, and bleeding” on the second night of initiation week.

“The dry-ice ‘branding’ was intended to be a spoof,” according to the Pikes’ response letter. “The dry-ice was placed on the skin for approximately three seconds.”

On the last night of initiation, the anonymous source said pledges were placed in the same bathroom they were placed in on the first night wearing only their boxers. Pictures of homoerotic magazines covered the walls. Pledges were then given a final exam, which members said all failed. Later they were told they had passed.

According to the Pikes’ response letter, “There was no gay pornography on the walls.”
Theta Rho chapter said the unnamed student who was in the meeting was dropped due to inactivity and lack of attendance.

“We strongly feel that the allegations…were derived out of an individual’s frustration with a misunderstanding of the Theta Rho chapter,” the letter said.

The Supreme Council of Pi Kappa Alpha voted unanimously to suspend the charter of the Theta Rho Chapter.
http://www.jackcentral.com/news/2009/01/fraternity-suspended-for-hazing-activities