President Dianne Harrison and Vice President of Student Affairs William Watkins spoke to fraternity and sorority members in a closed-door meeting on Friday afternoon to address the incidents of hazing that have plagued the community.
It has been two weeks since an alleged incident of hazing by the Pi Kappa Alpha Zeta Omicron fraternity at CSUN came to light, the first such incident to occur since the death of Armando Villa on July 1.
Villa died July 1 from dehydration and heat stroke in the Angeles National Forest while participating in a hiking fraternity ritual organized by the Pi Kappa Phi Zeta Mu chapter at CSUN.
Upon learning of the second incident, university officials ordered all CSUN fraternities and sororities on Oct. 23 to immediately cease all pledge activities.
According to students who attended the meeting, Harrison described Villa’s death as unacceptable, setting the tone for the meeting.
“I’m really glad that they held the meeting,” said Jasmyne Veil, a junior CSUN psychology major who attended the meeting. “I think it’s important to address the issue, considering how serious everything was. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done within the individual organizations.”
While the two leaders did not address a specific organization within the greek community at Friday’s meeting, they did place the responsibility of proper conduct and leadership on all the fraternities and sororities.
“This is an opportunity for them to redefine their culture, to help dismantle the negative, bad reputation that the entire greek community has gained because of the actions of some who refuse to follow policy,” Harrison said.
The president hopes that CSUN fraternity and sorority members will capitalize on the positive experiences their organizations can provide, and not have those experiences sullied by hazing or bullying.
Watkins would not comment on the specifics of the most recent hazing incident, citing the ongoing investigation. Watkins corroborated however that CSUN Department of Police Services and the CSUN Division of Student Affairs are investigating the latest case.
“Each of those offices are in the process right now of investigating, interviewing individuals,” he said. “We will determine whether or not there are charges that will be issued.”
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