Florida university suspends fraternity over Facebook posts
MIAMI (CNN) — References to drugs, comments about hazing and pictures of semi-nude women taken from posts on a closed Facebook page have prompted the suspension of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on Florida International University’s Miami campus.
An e-mail containing 70 screen grabs of posts allegedly found on the Facebook page for active members of Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as Pike, were sent to school officials and members of the media, including CNN affiliate WSVN.
“Anyone have a connect for coke, not me, a friends wants, lol,” says one post, while others mention “study drugs.” There are offers to sell Adderall and Vyvanse, drugs prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Several postings allegedly made by members of the fraternity make reference to the “Pike pharmacy.” One lets the group know the “Pike Pharmacy is on campus all day today again” and leaves a phone number to call. CNN called that number and every number contained in the posts and was told “no comment” by three people. One said, “I have no idea what’s going on” before hanging up the phone.
Although most of the social media chatter in the screen grabs involved talk of drugs and alcohol, there were a few that made reference to hazing, one offering this advice, “HAZE THE F(*! OUT OF THEM….end of story.”
The obscenities in the screen grabs are numerous, as are the derogatory comments, especially those in reference to their female coeds. A few semi-naked pictures of women were included. One of the pictures showed a topless female, with the comment: “I think she was 17 at the time of the titi pics…LOL.”
Florida International University declined CNN’s request for an interview but said in a statement that it “took prompt action and placed the fraternity on interim suspension pending the outcome of investigations by appropriate university departments, including the police.”
The board of directors of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity suspended the FIU chapter over the “disgraceful, offensive and indefensible” behavior.
“The immediate decision to suspend by the Supreme Council was made to communicate clearly that this type of behavior is not tolerated,” Executive Vice President Justin A. Buck said in a statement released Friday. “It is clear these individuals never had any concept of what Pi Kappa Alpha stands for.”
A conduct history of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at FIU shows the fraternity is no stranger to discipline investigations. It is currently on probation for an incident in June in which members were accused of interfering with the Office of Orientation and Parent Programs by “inviting new students to the house and serving alcohol,” the university said in an e-mail. Ultimately, the fraternity was found “not responsible” for dispensing alcohol but was found “responsible” on the accusations of interfering, the university said.
Over the past five years, this Pi Kappa Alpha chapter was brought up on discipline charges eight times. In April 2010, the fraternity was put on probation when members were caught painting obscene words and pictures on a student’s car. Most of the incidents involved alcohol, including a 2008-2009 probation for providing alcohol to minors.
While on probation, the fraternity was disciplined for having a party with alcohol. For this infraction, Pi Kappa Alpha was suspended from August 2011 until April 2013, but the sanctions were modified on appeal and the suspension ended a year earlier.
This time, it may not be just the fraternity that will be disciplined. Police are looking into the possibility of criminal charges if people who posted on the page are found to have committed any crimes.