An individual who was interested in joining a fraternity at the University of Kansas told investigators that the house’s locker room was “covered in vomit, liquor, pee, old food, trash, and who knows what else.” But when some of the frat’s pledges started cleaning it up, the members of the frat ordered them to go directly to bed without taking a shower because they had been helping clean up the mess. The student claimed that on that particular night, the pledges were made to sleep on sheets that were covered in vomit.
The sickening incident was one of several that were uncovered by outside investigators and compiled in a report that was partially redacted and obtained by the Lawrence Journal-World on Tuesday, the same day that the University of Kansas suspended two prominent fraternities. The report was obtained by the Lawrence Journal-World.
The independent investigators were hired by the leadership of the national fraternity, and according to their findings, they discovered two separate but “comprehensive” programs of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse at Phi Gamma Delta and Phi Delta Theta.
Tammara Durham, the vice provost of student affairs at the university, delivered the news that both fraternities had been immediately suspended in a letter that was distributed on Tuesday. The two chapters will continue to be sanctioned and barred from the campus of the university until all of its current members have graduated, which is expected to occur in 2027.
Although it was not immediately clear what prompted national fraternity officials to open the investigation, both chapters at the University of Kansas have been subject to previous hazing or disciplinary investigations. In the years 2012, 2015, and 2020, Phi Gamma Delta was under investigation, while Phi Delta Theta was investigated in 2010, 2019, and August 2021.
According to a report published on Wednesday by The Kansas City Star, Durham claimed in her letter that pledges at Phi Gamma Delta were “under the control and authority of members every waking minute each day” during the fall 2021 semester. According to what was written in the report by the investigators, at times black garbage bags were taped over the windows of the frat house in order to conceal what was going on inside.
The student who described what happened in the locker room said that he ultimately did not know what to say because he was speechless. He told the investigators, “I don’t know what else to say other than that being a member of this fraternity has caused us physical harm, emotional torture, and interfered with our chances of success in college.” “I don’t know what else to say other than that being a member of this fraternity has caused us physical harm, and emotional torture, and interfered with our chances of success in college.”
The student claimed that he had gone without sleep for four nights because members of the fraternity would sneak into the rooms of pledges and perform a ritual known as “teaching,” in which beds would be slammed up against walls with students folded into the mattresses.
According to the student, one of the pledges suffered a concussion after being hit against a locker. Another alleged incident of physical abuse was detailed in Durham’s letter, and it involved a pledge who had been partially restrained. The investigators’ report contained extensive redactions regarding this incident, however. His head was concealed by a pillowcase at all times.
“I was getting lightheaded, and tried to tilt my head down in order to get the pillowcase off my face for a good breath,” the pledge wrote. “However, I was yelled at as a consequence, and told to tilt my head back up.”
Members of Phi Delta Theta who were concerned about the damage that hazing was doing to pledges reported that they were frequently shunned by their brothers in the fraternity because of their beliefs. According to the findings of the investigation, one of the individuals was called a “snitch” and a “loser” in the home, and they ultimately left the state. Another person was coerced into watching a film that contained a distressing scene depicting the killing of a dolphin. The name “Dolphin” was given to that member from that point forward.
The two fraternities’ expulsion from the university was confirmed to the Journal-World by a spokesperson for the university.
“Members of these two fraternities — including the organizations’ leadership — knowingly engaged in systemic hazing that threatened the health and safety of students,” university spokesman Joe Monaco said in an email to the Journal-World. “Hazing” is short for “hazing,” which refers to the practice of initiating new members into a fraternity or sorority by subjecting them
Furthermore, this behavior was the continuation of a well-documented pattern of hazing that occurred over the course of the previous decade. This demonstrates that these organizations are unwilling to address this behavior on their own. This cannot be tolerated in any way.
Both Phi Gamma Delta and Phi Delta Theta have until the end of the month to file an appeal against the decision made by the university. Both the Star and the Journal-World tried their best to get in touch with representatives from the fraternities, but their efforts were initially unsuccessful.
The two fraternity houses are the most recent in a string of fraternities to be kicked off the campus of the University of Kansas. “multiple health-and-safety violations” led to the suspension of this Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter by the organization’s national headquarters in 2018. The suspension will last for “at least” four years. At the time, Durham expressed their approval of the move by issuing a statement in which it reiterated “the University’s commitment to the health and safety of our students.”
Two years later, the university decided to take disciplinary action against the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity for “an open culture” of hazing as well as illegal drug use. The suspension will last for at least five years.
“Breaking the cycle requires an opportunity for the organization to reset without current members and leaders who have been an active part of the problematic culture and activities,” Durham wrote of the 2020 decision. “Resetting” means starting over without those who have been a part of the problematic culture and activities.
The fraternity system at the university has recently come under scrutiny as a result of two separate allegations of rape that were made within a span of a few weeks of each other. After hearing of an incident that allegedly occurred on September 11, more than a thousand people converged on the Phi Kappa Psi chapter on campus in response to a report of the incident. The report alleged that a female student had been drugged and sexually assaulted inside the house. A little under two weeks after that, an accusation of rape in a dorm room was made, which led to the arrest of the student who was being accused of the crime.
In the wake of the demonstrations that took place on September 13 at the University of Kansas, a recent alumna revealed to The Daily Beast that the Panhellenic Association at the university had given sorority women a list of “safe” parties to attend while she was a student there. However, the fraternities continued to pose a threat to the students.