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.

May 10, 2017

Two Fraternities Placed on Yearlong Probation After Suspensions

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Cornell placed Pi Kappa Alpha — also known as PIKE — and Kappa Alpha Psi on yearlong probations Wednesday after keeping the fraternities on interim suspension since March 3 and April 17, respectively.

Pi Kappa Alpha was placed on probation “as a result of incidents determined to include hazing and alcohol consumption,” while Kappa Alpha Psi was placed on probation “as a result of incidents determined to include causing a disturbance and failure to respect health and safety,” Joseph A. Burke, executive director of campus and community engagement, wrote in two separate statements posted online Wednesday.

In all other announcements of fraternity sanctions this semester, Burke specifically identified hazing and alcohol consumption as reasons for the sanction. But those two infractions make no clear appearance in the Kappa Alpha Psi statement.

During its year of probation, Pi Kappa Alpha will have to complete a “comprehensive plan for improvement” that it created and the University approved, Burke’s statement said.

Parts of the plan include “anti-hazing education, a membership review, redeveloping components of the new member process, reaffirming their commitment to a live-in advisor, and increased oversight at social events.”

Kappa Alpha Psi will be required to meet regularly with leaders in the Multicultural Greek Letter Council “to make sure they are fulfilling the expectations of membership for MGLC chapters.”

If the fraternities fail to adhere to University rules during the probation period, “chapter recognition will be reconsidered,” Burke said in both statements.

The Pi Kappa Alpha chapter has come into trouble with the University before. In 2010, the University withdrew its recognition of Pi Kappa Alpha “due to [the chapter’s] history of alcohol and hazing-related infractions over several years, which culminated in a Jan. 22, 2010, incident involving underage and high-risk drinking,” The Sun previously reported.

The University’s sanction was supposed to last four years, but it provisionally reinstated the fraternity in January 2013 after it submitted another “plan.”

The fraternity is not the first organization to be punished for “alcohol and hazing-related infractions” this semester. Two weeks ago, the University “permanently dismissed” Cornell’s oldest all-male a cappella group Cayuga’s Waiters for hazing activities.

The decision to ban the 67-year-old, all-male group came after the University Review Board overturned a hearing board decision that gave a lighter sanction.

The University’s two Wednesday announcements leave only one Greek group’s interim suspension in the air: Alpha Xi Delta sorority, the first sorority to be given an interim suspension in five years. The University suspended the sorority on March 30 for an unidentified “serious violation of the University Recognition Policy,” The Sun previously reported.

“Interim suspension is used when details of a credible report compel the university to cease activities of the organization for the safety of the members, those joining or guests,” Burke explained in his announcement of the sorority’s interim suspension.

The four fraternities given interim suspensions this semester now are either on “probationary recognition,” including Kappa Alpha Psi and Pi Kappa Alpha, or on “provisional recognition status,” including Sigma Phi Epsilon and Lambda Chi Alpha.

The latter sanction is the more severe: “provisional recognition status” lasts for “no less than one year” and includes a ban on recruitment in the fall 2017 semester. “Probationary recognition” lasts exactly for one year and does not include a fall 2017 recruitment ban, according to Burke’s statements.