All pledging activity has been ordered to immediately “cease and desist” following a possible hazing incident involving the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, according to a letter sent to all sorority and fraternity presidents by William Watkins, vice president for student affairs, on Thursday evening.
Pi Kappa Alpha has been placed on interim suspension by the university, and cannot engage in activities pending the outcome of a CSUN investigation, according to the letter. The fraternity has also been placed on administrative suspension by its national headquarters.
All current pledges’ statuses will be determined by individual fraternities and sororities in consultation with their national chapters, but cannot participate in further pledge activity, Watkins said.
“The university does not object to the induction of pledges, but they shall not be made subject to further pledge activity,” Watkins wrote. “Chapters choosing to induct current pledges must notify the university’s fraternity and sorority adviser.”
The letter also states there will currently be no Spring 2015 semester “new member intake activity.”
An email from Jamison Keller, activities coordinator for sororities and fraternities, to fraternity and sorority leaders, stated CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison will speak with the Greek community, tentatively scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 in the Northridge Center of the University Student Student Union.
A message left with the fraternity’s national offices in Memphis seeking comment were not immediately returned Thursday evening.
Meaghan Manos, senior psychology major and member of Alpha Phi, said the news was disappointing, especially for those in their last year in the Greek system.
“I think that it’s a shame that there’s hazing at CSUN, because it’s not present in every organization at CSUN,” Manos said. “And for those who are against hazing, that is really sad that our chapters are unfortunately not going to keep going as well.”
Manos said she doesn’t think the decision was fair, and that the incident should have been dealt with the individual chapter.
“I think that they need to be held accountable, but it shouldn’t reflect on the entire greek system,” Manos said.
Thursday’s letter and cease and desist action comes as the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department prepares to release its four-month-long investigation of the hazing death of Pi Kappa Phi pledge Armando Villa to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office next week.
Villa died while hiking in the Angeles National Forest on July 1 as part of a hazing ritual by the fraternity.
The Zeta Mu chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity was voluntarily surrendered in early September by the national organization following CSUN’s independent investigation into the death of Villa.
Pete Camarillo contributed to this report.