WVU permanently suspends fraternity over hazing

MORGANTOWN (AP) — West Virginia University has one less fraternity: Phi Gamma Delta has been permanently suspended from campus after an alleged hazing that involved late-night drinking at the chapter house.

The hazing occurred in October, while the fraternity was already on temporary suspension by both WVU and its national organization, Director of Student Organization Services Ron Justice said Tuesday.

WVU hadn’t previously made any information about what happened public. Justice said that’s because the complaint came to his office, not WVU police, and triggered an investigation into possible violations of the school’s student-conduct code.

That investigation was completed before the Thanksgiving break, and chapter members were informed of the suspension Monday night, Justice said.

The university calls the suspension “indefinite” and says it comes in consultation with the fraternity’s national office. The national organization is expected to vote on the suspension in January.

Justice said no criminal charges have been filed so far, and no disciplinary action has been taken yet against any of the students involved. The pledge class has 28 members, but Justice said not all were involved.

He declined to offer details except to say pledges were forced to return to the chapter house late at night for an alcohol-related activity.

“That’s a violation of their national policy as well as WVU’s student code,” he said.

The chapter has about 50 members altogether, 23 of whom live in the Belmar Avenue house. Six are graduating in December, Justice said, but the other 17 must find new housing by the end of the semester. WVU will assist with relocations.

WVU requires fraternities and sororities to complete an educational session about the dangers of hazing every semester, and the school says Phi Gamma Delta had done so.

There have been problems with other WVU fraternities in the past.

Last year, a former student government leader was ordered to serve community service after a hazing at the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity in November 2010. WVU police said they found 10 blindfolded men covered with food.

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