[This article was updated Aug. 24 with President Mark B. Rosenberg’s letter to Greek organizations.]
Madison Fantozzi/News Director
Pi Kappa Alpha’s charter has been revoked and the Kappa Gamma chapter has been suspended by Fraternity Headquarters after screenshots from Pike’s private Facebook page about drugs, hazing and cheating on exams were shared to the University by an anonymous source.
The screenshots were sent to University officials, fraternity and sorority presidents and media outlets including Student Media on Aug. 21 in an email titled “fiu pikes caught hazing and more [sic].”
One member posted to never leave a “Pike trail,” but the Facebook page did just that.
Seventy screenshots revealed posts by fraternity members about the “Pike Pharmacy.” One post advertised the study drug Adderall for $10; $15 for “non-brothers.”
A comment on this post: “How much for pledge brothers?”
Members also took to the page to promote hazing. One member posted about an organized event.
“Make a pledge wash your car before the party,” the post read. “Hazing is amazing.”
One member even proposed a chapter-funded Course Hero account to access University exams.
Vladimir G. Charles, coordinator of sorority and fraternity life, wrote in an email to Student Media that Media Relations would communicate all statements regarding Pi Kappa Alpha.
“The university is taking this information very seriously because it suggests possible Student Code of Conduct violations,” wrote Director of Media Relations Maydel Santana-Bravo in a statement on Aug. 21.
According to the Student Code of Conduct, hazing includes, but is not limited to: forced physical activity, deprivation of food or sleep and verbal abuse or degradation.
“When does this retreat end?” one member posted. “When the pledges die,” a member commented.
Hazing is a criminal offense in the State of Florida and Pike is now pending further investigation.
The screenshots also revealed nude photos and text messages between Pikes and sorority members. The Pike members also slandered other fraternities regularly.
“The university took prompt action and placed the fraternity on interim suspension pending the outcome of investigations by appropriate university departments, including the police,” wrote Santana-Bravo.
In a phone call to Student Media, Police Chief Alex Casas confirmed the investigation and said the University Police Department had no further comment at this time.
The Kappa Gamma chapter has since had its charter revoked, however.
President Mark B. Rosenberg wrote in a letter to University Greek organizations on Aug. 23 that Pike would no longer be part of the University.
“The Facebook posts disgusted me, angered me, and saddened me,” wrote Rosenberg. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated at FIU.”
Pike has been responsible for multiple accounts of misconduct since 2006, according to Pike’s conduct history report. Incidents include vandalism, harassment, sexual misconduct and underage drinking.
All members linked to illegal and illicit activities will be pursued for expulsion from the fraternity.
“The international fraternity will continue to work with the University and police investigation, providing any information available to hold individuals accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” said the press release.
The international fraternity released a statement that said it had no knowledge of the Facebook page. The page has since been deleted.
This is not in any way a comment about what Pike did or did not do. Rather, it is about the statement ““The Facebook posts disgusted me, angered me, and saddened me,” wrote Rosenberg. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated at FIU.”” I completely understand, and even agree, with the first part of that, but what behavior is he talking about?
Did Pike actually do anything, or did they just write about doing things and generally act like donkeys on Facebook? The article does not indicate that anything actually happened other than the postings, and if that is all that is known about then the second part of that statement is troubling. Free speech means tolerating speech that disgusts, angers, and saddens you. When you say that such speech will not be tolerated you’re pushing the ball of censorship down a slippery slope.
Again-this is not defending Pike since I have literally no idea what they did, but if the only thing they did is post that seems a pretty flimsy reason for them to lose recognition. Punish and educate them, but even terrible jokes should be protected. -Dave Kennedy