Cornell suspended the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on March 3rd, making it the third fraternity placed on interim suspension in just over a month.

Adrian Boteanu / Sun Staff Photographer

Cornell suspended the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on March 3rd, making it the third fraternity placed on interim suspension in just over a month.

March 3, 2017

Cornell Suspends Third Fraternity in Just Over One Month

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Cornell suspended the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on Friday, making the 100-year-old chapter the third fraternity suspended by the University in just over one month.

“The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life has announced that Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has committed a serious violation of the University Recognition Policy and as of March 3, 2017 has been placed by Cornell on interim suspension status,” Joseph A. Burke,
executive director of campus and community engagement, said in a statement posted online.

The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life suspended Lambda Chi Alpha on Feb. 16 and Sigma Phi Epsilon on Feb. 2. Pi Kappa Alpha — like the other two fraternities on interim suspension — is now forbidden from engaging in any activities other than operating its residence.

The University withdrew its recognition of Pi Kappa Alpha in 2010 “due to its history of alcohol and hazing-related infractions over several years, which culminated in a Jan. 22, 2010, incident involving underage and high-risk drinking,” according to the Cornell Chronicle, which is managed by Cornell Media Relations.

The suspension was to last for four years, but the fraternity was provisionally reinstated in January 2013 after submitting a plan to the University.

“This is an example of an ideal process,” the former senior associate dean of students, Travis Apgar, told The Chronicle at the time. “It sets Pi Kappa Alpha up to move forward with activities that pertain to the fraternity’s founding principles, which is what we’re asking all our fraternities and sororities to refocus on: living up to what, at their foundation, they say they are about.”

Asked for comment on Friday, Interfraternity Council President Drew Lord ’18 pointed to his statement after the suspension of Lambda Chi Alpha, which said that Lord cannot comment on an active investigation but has full confidence in the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.

Burke, the campus and community engagement director, said in an email on Saturday that he cannot comment on an ongoing situation.

Clarification: A previous version of this story stated that the suspension was the third in two months. In fact, it is the third in just over one month.

  • Blake

    Other fraternities are celebrating because Pike is disliked around campus, and maybe rightfully so, but there’s a clear trend here with the recent suspensions – Cornell is coming after Greek life. Fraternities call noise complaints and other prank police calls on other houses to get them in trouble and eventually when Cornell comes for them, there’s going to be nobody left to defend them.

    • Alum

      Just curious as to the basis for your statement that “Pike is disliked around campus and maybe rightfully so.” They’ve been back on the Hill for roughly 3 years now — how does any newly re-colonized fraternity become “disliked” in such a short time period when they are still in the process of re-establishing their identity?

  • Darren Webber ’93

    “Clarification: A previous version of this story stated that the suspension was the third in two months. In fact, it is the third in just over one month.”

    “Third on two months” and “third in just over two months” both describe the reality accurately. The only difference your “clarification” made is that the title now sounds more negative, and, therefore, is more attention-grabbing.

    • Phil McNeil ’93

      Third in two months would imply about sixty days, where as just over one month is a month and a day in this case. Those two are quite different; and seem to me worthy of a clarification, which it should be noted is different than a correction.

      To imply with your link that this is an instance of Yellow Journalism seems a bit hyperbolic.

  • Dean Wormer

    The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me!

    • CU

      What’s next? Double secret probation?

  • borris batanov

    Lower the drinking age back down to 18. If they can die in Vietnam or Iraq, they should be allowed to drink.

  • borris batanov
  • borris batanov

    PS. Drank my ass off at Alpha Delt and Sigma Chi. Oorah!

  • Dean Wormer

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

    • CU

      Blutarsky 0.0

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  • An alumnus

    Cornell is unique in many ways – it combines the statutory colleges and the endowed colleges and draws a mix of students from within New York State and nationwide. As a result, its fraternity system is very different than at the Big Ten Schools or the South. It has more in common with fraternities at MIT or Cal Tech. Fraternities are an important way to network with alumni and to have a self-governing living environment.

    Given the 21-year-old drinking age, there are violations throughout the Cornell community – in dorms, in Collegetown and in fraternities. The difference is that when underage drinking happens at a fraternity house, it results in a university press release and the closure of an institution. If an underage drinking violation happened at Bethe House, Cornell would not suspend that facility for three years and issue a press release.

    Many positive things happen everyday at fraternities, and the Cornell Sun fails to cover living units, including fraternities in an objective and detailed manner.

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