Pi Kappa Phi fraternity disbanded at NC State

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Thursday, March 26, 2015
Pi Kappa Phi fraternity disbanded at NC State
NC State fraternity Pi Kappa Phi has been disbanded, effective immediately, after a controversial pledge book was found last week.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- NC State fraternity Pi Kappa Phi was disbanded Wednesday and members ordered to vacate the on-campus house by this weekend.

The move by the school followed the discovery of a notebook filled with sexist and racially offensive entries in a restaurant off campus.

The punishment comes amid recent cases of bad behavior at the University of Oklahoma, Penn State and other schools which have put fraternities in the national spotlight.

ABC11 spoke to several Wolfpack students Wednesday evening. All of them had heard of the little green pledge book and the disgusting things written inside it. They agreed the decision to disband Pi Kappa Phi was the right move.

NC State grad student Kartika Budwhar begins student teaching this semester.

"It made me nervous to be a new teacher and walk into the classroom when such ideas might exist there," Budwhar said.

Trey Monk, an African-American senior at State, felt similar emotions.

"It was honestly kind of scary to know I'm sitting in the same class with some of these people," Monk said.

NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson weighed that outrage and concern along with the school's Code of Conduct when he laid down his punishment for Pi Kappa Phi. He announced Wednesday afternoon the frat would be disbanded, booted from campus, and its charter was revoked by the national organization.

"[I was] offended, shocked, outraged anything you could imagine," Woodson said as he described his initial reaction to the discovery of Pi Kappa Phi's pledge book.

The incident at NC State emerged when student Katie Perry posted a photo of herself on social media photocopying pages of Pi Kappa Phi's pledge book. The journal had been left behind at a campus restaurant.

"That might be a good tree for a lynching" and "If she's hot enough, she doesn't need a pulse," were just some of the entries.

There was no answer at the frat house door Wednesday night.

"I know a lot of frat guys that are individually a really nice guy, but you never know what goes on behind closed doors," said NC State sophomore Katie Snyder. "When things like this happen, it makes you wonder".

A different N.C. State fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, was suspended earlier this month after details of drug paraphernalia seized from its house surfaced in a search warrant related to a sexual assault allegation.

N.C. State responded by temporarily suspending all social events involving alcohol for more than 20 fraternities on campus.

Woodson also called Wednesday for a "thorough review" of the university's Greek system. The review will assess whether fraternities and sororities are meeting the core values and high behavioral standards of the university, and will focus on a range of issues including sexual misconduct, substance abuse, and diversity and inclusion.

"I hope today's action makes it clear that there is no place for intolerance, sexism and racism at N.C. State," Woodson said. "I know the poor behaviors we've seen recently by a few in no way represent the strong character and values of our larger student body. N.C. State will work hard to ensure these outlying actions never become accepted or tolerated at our university."

Pi Kappa Phi accepted Wednesday's punishment and may be allowed to return to campus with new membership in 2018.

"We appreciate the support and collaboration with the N.C. State administration," said Mark E. Timmes, the chief executive of Pi Kappa Phi. "Together, we acted quickly to address this situation and reaffirm our commitment to maintaining an environment where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued."

Thursday, Timmes made an additional comment: "The quotes in the journal are reprehensible, unacceptable, and perpetuate hateful stereotypes. The students recognize they violated our standards and have accepted responsibility."

Hazing expert

Psychologist Dr. Susan Lipkins is considered an expert on hazing on campus life.

"They take everything that's politically correct and they turn it into something that is politically incorrect and they take it to the largest extreme that they can, make you feel as humiliated and embarrassed as possible," said Dr. Lipkins. "They think of it as funny, I can take it. It's like 'Animal House'... and it is until you're in trouble or you're in court."

Lipkins is based in New York, but does most of her work in the South serving as an expert witness in criminal and civil hazing cases. She's been watching the case at NC State and is considering what will happen once members move out of the house.

"Unfortunately, often the kids will just go across the street, rent another house and sort if be an underground fraternity and then what they do in their hazing is even worst than when they're connected to the nationals. But it is the correct thing to cut them off and for the university to follow their own policy," Lipkins.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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