3 Greek life orgs face updated Pitt sanctions


Caela Go | Staff Photographer

Phi Gamma Delta, which faced a hazing probe, was placed back in good standing Friday with no sanctions.

By Jon Moss, Assistant News Editor

Four Greek life organizations at Pitt — Delta Sigma Phi, Chi Omega, Phi Kappa Theta and Phi Gamma Delta — faced hazing probes and suspended new member education beginning in early October of this year. The University updated sanctions and closed investigations for three of these organizations Friday, in addition to placing sanctions on the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

The University placed Pitt’s chapters of the Delta Sigma Phi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities, and the Chi Omega sorority, on “Restriction of Privileges — Participate in any social event or other activities where alcohol is present” status on Friday. Delta Sigma Phi’s sanctions will last until the end of spring 2020, while Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Chi Omega are sanctioned until next January.

Pitt previously placed Delta Sigma Phi and Chi Omega on “Interim Loss of Privileges — New Member Education” status on Oct. 23, after the University received anonymous reports for possible involvement in new member hazing. Sigma Alpha Epsilon was in good standing with the University until the Friday sanctions.

University spokesperson Kevin Zwick did not respond to questions about what led to the new sanctions for the Greek life organizations.

Delta Sigma Phi President Martin Klena said Friday the University found his fraternity guilty of violations of the Student Code of Conduct and the Fraternity and Sorority Life Guidelines, but declined to go into detail about the violations. He added that he was using the investigation as an opportunity to introspect on Greek life at Pitt.

“I think whenever you have any serious accusations like this, it’s a good time to look at your organization, look at Greek life as a whole and think about, ‘What are we doing? Is there a reason behind these things? Are they unfounded?’” Klena, a senior computing engineering major, said. “Sort of try and make whatever internal improvements you can and move forward.”

Pitt placed Phi Gamma Delta in good standing Friday after the hazing probe concluded. Phi Kappa Theta, which has temporarily ceased all organizational operations, is now the only Greek life organization at Pitt to be under investigation for alleged new member hazing.

Representatives from Chi Omega, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Gamma Delta did not respond to requests for comment.

The five total investigations come two years after a string of hazing and alcohol incidents in spring 2018. Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner placed all Greek life organizations on modified social probation in January 2018. He lifted the probation in August 2018 and released a community action plan with the goal of changing the culture of Greek life on campus.

At the time he released the plan, Bonner said responsibility for Greek life organizations ultimately lies with students.

“At some point, you’re all adults, you’re all leaders, you’re all responsible people — and I think reasonable people — and you have a responsibility to manage your organizations,” Bonner said.

Pitt community members can report hazing and other crimes via the Pitt police anonymous tip form.