Fraternity Suspension Update: 2nd Quarter, 2018
In previous pages published on this website, we have reported our findings
regarding fraternity hazing / fraternity misconduct incidents for the
calendar year 2017 and the 1st calendar quarter of 2018.
As a service to both prospective fraternity members and to their parents, the
fraternity hazing lawyer at the
Doan Law Firm presents the following information that was drawn from our in-house fraternity
In the 2nd calendar quarter of 2018, we were able to document the following:
- there were 44 fraternities that were suspended
five schools had declared a campus-wide suspension of fraternity activities
and those suspensions were in force for at least a part of the 2nd calendar quarter of 2018
there were no deaths related to fraternity hazing in the 2nd quarter of 2018. However, a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority at the
University of North Carolina-Charlotte, 20-year old Polly Miranda Rodgers,
died when she fell through a window on a "party bus" that had
been rented by the Kappa Sigma fraternity, also of that school. Toxicology
testing later revealed that Ms. Rodgers' blood alcohol concentration
was 0.14, nearly twice the level required to win a conviction on a DUI/DWI
charge in North Carolina.
As always, we caution the reader that the information used in compiling
our database is largely taken from news reports that appeared in the local
news media. As such, that information is not always as reliable as we
might hope. For example, we suspect that many schools enjoy a too "cozy"
a relationship with their local media outlets and thus are able to "downplay"
or "kill" any news reports that would portray the school in
anything except the most favorable terms. We are currently researching
this topic and hope to present our findings, either positive or negative,
by the end of this year.
Fraternity suspensions by school
The schools listed below reported at least 2, or more, fraternity suspensions
during the 2nd calendar quarter of 2018.
West Virginia, 4 suspensions (Phi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Alpha Mu, Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta)
Ohio State, 3 suspensions (Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Alpha Mu, Phi Kappa Psi)
University of Texas-Arlington, 3 suspensions (Sigma Phi Epsilon, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Delta Theta)
University of Central Florida, 2 suspensions (Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Sigma Phi)
Syracuse, 2 suspensions (Sigma Alpha Mu, Theta Tau)
University of North Carolina-Charlotte, 2 suspensions (Lambda Chi Alpha, Kappa Sigma)
The local chapters of the following fraternities were suspended by the
host school and/or had their charters revoked by their respective national
Lambda Chi Alpha, 3 suspensions (Southeastern Oklahoma, Cal Poly, UNC-Charlotte)
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, 3 suspensions (Westminster (MO), George Mason, Arizona)
Sigma Alpha Mu, 3 suspensions (Syracuse, Ohio State, West Virginia)
Phi Gamma Delta, 2 suspensions (Northwestern, Texas-Arlington)
Pi Kappa Alpha, 2 suspensions (Arkansas-Little Rock, Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Campus-wide fraternity suspensions
The following schools had "campus-wide" suspensions of Greek
organizations that were in effect during at least part of the 2nd quarter of 2018.
On April 17th Cal Poly announced that all Interfraternity Council-member
fraternities and Panhellenic Council-member sororities had been suspended
due to an increase in the number of "racially-charged" incidents
that included anti-Hispanic photos made at Lambda Chi Alpha and Sigma
Nu fraternity parties.
On March 12th the Interfraternity Council at Kansas announced the "voluntary
temporary suspension" of all fraternity social events after numerous
instances of school alcohol policy violations. The suspension followed
the suspension of 3 IFC-member fraternities for hazing and alcohol violations
during the current academic year.
In February, Miami (OH) announced the immediate indefinite suspension of
all fraternity activities after it received numerous reports of hazing
and alcohol policy violations during the recently-completed "rush
On May 9th, Murray State announced that all Greek social activities were
to be suspended indefinitely due to multiple reports of violations of
the school's alcohol and hazing policies. The school stated that it
was forming an investigative committee to investigate these reports and
that the suspension could extend into the Fall Semester.
San Diego State
In March, San Diego State placed a "social moratorium" on all
Interfraternity Council member fraternities. The school has stated that
this "no partying" ban will likely be extended until at least
the beginning of the fall semester.
Fraternity Hazing and Misconduct Recap: Summer, 2018
Delta Chi unseats Sigma Alpha Epsilon as "most suspended fraternity
of the quarter"
Summers are usually relatively quiet times on college campuses because
most students are away on what they consider a well-earned rest and their
antics are thus removed from the scrutiny of their schools' administrations. At the
Doan Law Firm, we are pleased to report that our Fraternity Hazing and Misconduct Database
reveals that the Summer of 2018 was no exception.
During the 3rd calendar quarter of 2018, 23 fraternities were suspended by the host schools
and/or their national organizations. This was unusual in that (1) "only"
one fraternity (Delta Chi) was suspended from more than one campus (Florida,
Iowa State, and LSU) between July 1 and September 30, thus unseating perennial
suspension champion Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and (2) only two schools were
forced to suspend more than one fraternity during that same period: Kentucky
(Sigma Chi and Alpha Tau Omega) and West Virginia (Alpha Sigma Phi, Kappa
Alpha Order, Phi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Chi and Theta Chi)
"… court is now in session …"
Despite being relatively well-behaved for the past few months, fraternities
and their members continued to grace the courts with their presence.
Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity was set to appear in court at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 27th. in connection with a
2016 hazing incident involving its now-suspended University of Houston (TX) chapter. The national
fraternity is facing a one-count Class B misdemeanor violation of
Texas' anti-hazing law and, if convicted, faces a fine of $2,000.
In a lawsuit that was made public on September 21st it was revealed that Mark Clayton Oppenheimer had filed a personal injury
lawsuit against the University of Kentucky's chapter of the
Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the landlords or a residence located at 1561 Elizabeth
Street in Louisville after he suffered a broken jaw when he was punched
by fraternity members at a "SAE party house." Fraternities and
sororities at Kentucky are not allowed to possess alcohol at any on-campus
On Monday, September 14th, 4-year-old Marco Lee Shemwel died at Kentucky Children's Hospital
two days after being struck by a car while he and his waited to cross
a street near the University of Kentucky football stadium. Lexington (KY)
Police arrested Jacob R. Heil, an 18-year-old pledge at Kentucky's
Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, on a single charge of DUI. According to police, Heil admitted
to consuming alcohol at an ATO party prior to the accident. Alpha Tau
Omega's national headquarters later withdrew its local chapter's
charter and the University of Kentucky withdrew its recognition of the
As of September 14th, there were at least
seven active lawsuits listed on the New Jersey court dockets against Stockton
Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, and at least two unnamed males alleging that female students
were drugged and sexually assaulted on multiple occasions at the off-campus
"underground" Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house. The fraternity
had been expelled from campus in 2010.
It was revealed on September 12th that 20-year-old Nicholas Mauricio had filed a lawsuit
against Florida State's chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. According to the lawsuit, Mauricio's fraternity brothers had selected
him as the "Scumbag of the Week" and, as part of his punishment
for attaining that distinction, he was slapped on the face with such force
that he fell backward and struck his head on the floor. As a consequence,
he suffered two "brain bleeds" and may never be able to return
According to news reports, a "membership review" by AEPi's
national headquarters revealed that about half of the members were not
students in good standing at Florida State University. The national headquarters
voted to immediately shut down the local chapter.
On August 16th, the parents of Maxwell Gruver filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit
against Louisiana State University,
Phi Delta Theta, as well as several current and former fraternity members alleging that
LSU was well-aware of dangerous patterns of behavior involving not only
Phi Delta Theta but all fraternities at LSU, yet did not take steps to
protect fraternity members or pledges. Max Gruver died of acute alcohol
poisoning at a fraternity pledge event on September 13, 2017.
The ongoing battle between West Virginia University (WVU) President Gordon
Gee and the school's Greeks escalated with only four days remaining
in the calendar quarter when
Alpha Sigma Phi,
Kappa Alpha Order,
Phi Sigma Kappa,
Sigma Chi and
Theta Chi announced that they were "dissociating" themselves from WVU
and would be forming a new "Independent Fraternity Council" (IFC).
When coupled with three other suspensions that were announced in June of
this year (Phi Gamma Delta,
Pi Kappa Alpha and
Sigma Alpha Mu ), half of the fraternities at WVU are now on suspension.
Contacting a fraternity hazing / misconduct lawyer
If your child was injured in a fraternity hazing ritual, or suffered an
injury that can be traced to the serving of alcoholic beverages to someone
who was under 21 years of age, you may have considered filing a lawsuit
against those that you believe to have been responsible for your child's
injury. If filing a lawsuit is indeed being considered, you will need
to speak with a lawyer who is familiar with topics such as:
- your state's alcoholic beverage control laws
- your state's anti-hazing criminal laws
if your state protects its colleges and universities through the doctrine of
- how to investigate all aspects of a civil lawsuit to determine the chain
of events that led to your child's injuries
- the role of a fraternity's national organization in monitoring the
conduct of the local "house"
- the extent of the school's monitoring of a fraternity's behavior
- identifying risk factors that should have alerted the school and/or the
fraternity's national organization to a potential problem with the
local fraternity chapter
- selecting a law firm with experience in handling lawsuits involving multiple
defendants in different states
One such lawyer with experience in these areas is the
fraternity hazing / fraternity misconduct lawyer at the
Doan Law Firm, a nationwide law practice with offices in major cities throughout the country.
When you contact the fraternity hazing lawyer at the Doan Law Firm to arrange a
free review of your potential fraternity hazing / fraternity misconduct lawsuit, your
initial consultation is always free of any charges and does not obligate
you to hiring our firm to represent you in court. However, if you decide
that we should manage your fraternity hazing / misconduct lawsuit, we
are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing
your case for trial in exchange for a previously agreed-upon percentage
of the final settlement that we will win for you.