Mustang News Staff Report
Cal Poly has suspended the university’s chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) for a minimum of six years, according to a university press release.
The suspension is in response to “a reported sexual assault, unsafe alcohol consumption and other conduct policy violations at a party in October,” according to the release. The party registration policy was developed last year by administration and greek life leaders.
“We work in good faith with our greek life students; in return, we expect that they will abide by the campus policies they helped develop,” Dean of Students Jean DeCosta said in the release. “Cal Poly maintains a zero-tolerance policy for violations of those policies.”
The Dean of Students Office informed the chapter earlier this week.
PIKE may appeal the suspension within 20 days to Vice President for Student Affairs, according to the release. If the decision is appealed, Humphrey will review the Dean of Students’ decision and issue a final ruling.
UPDATE: While PIKE does not have a lettered chapter house, the fraternity has a number of satellite houses near campus. Cal Poly does not have the authority to remove students from private housing, but Vice President of Student Affairs Kieth Humphrey said other suspended fraternities’ national offices had kicked members out in the past.
“When we disaffiliate with someone who has a house off campus, whether it’s a satellite house or a chapter house, we don’t evict them from their property,” Humphrey said. “Oftentimes, the national organization or the local alumni will say, ‘We need to move everybody out of the house at the end of the quarter.'”
Former members of PIKE will also not be banned from wearing their letters around campus, at least by the university. However, if former PIKE members conduct themselves inappropriately while unaffiliated with Cal Poly, it could negatively impact the fraternity’s chances of being reinstated when the suspension is over, Humphrey said.
UPDATE: PIKE President and mechanical engineering senior Ellis Good said members of the fraternity felt they weren’t given fair consideration during the university’s investigation.
Good said he thought the reported sexual assault was what caused the fraternity to be suspended, rather than alcohol and party violations.
“They (the fraternity brothers) felt they were singled out,” Good said.
Because the university was making a judgment call rather than building a rigorous legal case against them, Good said, the fraternity wasn’t given a fair chance to defend itself.
“We felt we had nothing to hide,” Good said.
Good said PIKE plans to appeal the university’s decision, and that he will be working with alumni and the fraternity’s national chapter to determine the best way to proceed.