NC State: PKP brothers must vacate house by the weekend
Posted March 25, 2015
Updated March 24, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — A university spokesman on Thursday clarified the decision to close the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity at North Carolina State University, saying the members must vacate their house by the weekend. Individuals will be re-assigned to other housing as necessary.
The Tau Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was suspended last week after what appears to be a pledge book containing racially and sexually offensive language surfaced at a Raleigh restaurant.
The national fraternity revoked the chapter’s charter, and NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson called for a thorough review of the Greek system on campus.
Mike Mullen, the school’s vice chancellor and dean of academic and student affairs, will lead the review of NC State’s Greek system to assess whether fraternities and sororities are meeting core values and behavior standards. The review will focus on a range of issues, including sexual misconduct and cultural diversity.
The review comes amid recent issues involving Greek life at NCSU. The school’s Alpha Tau Omega chapter is being investigated for a sexual assault at its fraternity house. The alleged victim also told police that drugs were being sold out of the residence and that there were several fights, including one in which a person was thrown through a window.
In January, a sexual assault was reported at an off-campus party hosted by the school’s Delta Sigma Phi chapter. Campus police have closed their investigation, but the fraternity’s national office has launched its own inquiry.
NCSU’s Interfraternity Council has temporarily suspended social events involving alcohol for more than 20 fraternities due to recent events.
“We want the students to own this,” Woodson said. “For you to have a lasting cultural change, you can’t administrate that. You have to have students with buy-in. My hope is that we can come to some serious conclusions before the end of the semester, but I don’t want to put an absolute date on it because we want to do it right.”
In the case of the Pi Kappa Phi pledge book, Woodson said, individual members would not be disciplined, but the brothers must vacate their house on campus by the weekend.
Members will be reassigned to other housing as needed.
Pi Kappa Phi can apply for reinstatement in 2018, but approval isn’t guaranteed, Woodson said.
Student reaction to the suspension was mixed.
"I think that, more like, just taking individuals out of the fraternity would have been more effective than just banning the whole thing," said Hayley Buckner, a junior.
Charles Wong, a freshman, says student opinions will be mostly based on individual perspectives.
"I think the university is doing its best to handle it, and really I think the opinion comes between whether you're a Greek student or whether you're not," he said. "I think that's really where the division is."
University leaders across the country are dealing with a series of embarrassing events that shine a light on racist and misogynistic views linked to Greek life.
“It’s a national challenge right now,” Woodson said. “I think we all know that this is national story, not just at NC State, but around the country, and it’s something we just have to get right. And we have to make sure we’re helping our students get it right.”
“This is clearly not something consistent with the values that we have, and frankly I don’t believe it’s consistent with the values of the Greek community,” Woodson said. “So clearly, it was a gut check and it made us realize that we have a lot of work to do here.” Sexist, racist comments in book linked to NC State fraternity
NC State and national Pi Kappa Phi leaders reacted quickly after learning of the little green book filled with handwritten notes, including racially and sexually charged language and derogatory comments about women and children.
“I was amazed,” Woodson said of the comments. “Offended, shocked, outraged, everything you can imagine. Particularly the comments, it expressed views that are just completely inconsistent with those views that we hold true here at NC State and in the community at large.”
The fraternity’s national office described the comments as “conduct inconsistent with the fraternity’s values and the fundamental principle of human dignity,” and said chapter members accepted the suspension without dispute.
“The quotes in the journal are reprehensible, unacceptable and perpetuate hateful stereotypes,” Pi Kappa Phi Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Timmes said in a statement. “The students recognize they violated our standards and have accepted responsibility.”