Five campus frats found hazing during fall 2022 – the most since spring 2021

Jacob Ritondo, Race and Identity Reporter

The University of Alabama found that several Interfraternity Council organizations and one United Greek Council fraternity violated the University’s hazing and alcohol guidelines last fall, according to the fall 2022 Greek Scorecard. One fraternity was suspended, a first since 2019.  

Every semester, the University’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life compiles a list, known as the “Greek Scorecard,” of every Greek organization that has violated rules pertaining to four categories: “hazing,” “alcohol,” “sexual misconduct,” or “other.” Each infraction committed by an organization is listed next to that organization’s name, along with the respective disciplinary action taken by the University in response to the violation. The scorecard also includes information about sanctions that were still in effect during the semester of interest that resulted from violations during a previous term. 

The fall 2022 term Greek Scorecard showed that the fraternities that violated the University’s hazing-prevention guidelines were the Alpha Beta Chapter of Kappa Alpha, the Gamma Beta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Lambda, the Gamma Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha and the Psi Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau – all members of the IFC – along with Theta Tau of the United Greek Council. Each organization had one violation in this category. 

As per the University’s hazing policy, “hazing includes any act that threatens or inflicts physical, emotional, or psychological pressure or injury on an individual or that purposely demeans, degrades, or disgraces an individual.”  

In response to the violations, the University placed all five organizations on disciplinary probation, with most of the chapters’ probation periods extending to the end of the fall 2023 semester. When enacted, disciplinary probation lasts a set amount of time for an organization during which the organization must not violate University regulations under risk of greater sanctions, such as suspension or expulsion from campus, according to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.  

An outlier as far as disciplinary action was Pi Kappa Alpha, which received an interim suspension from its international organization during the fall 2022 term. The Greek Scorecard indicated that Pike was placed in a probation period that will last until Nov. 8, 2024; however, it remains unclear if the interim suspension is related to Pike’s fall 2022 hazing violation and resulting two-year probation.  

Brent E. Buswell, director of communications for Kappa Alpha Order’s national organization, gave The Crimson White the following statement: “Upon receiving allegations of possible violations of our risk management policy, our National Administrative Office conducted an investigation and assessed the chapter’s operations. Through a joint process with the University, the chapter was placed on probation until December 8, 2023. The chapter has satisfactorily completed risk management education and bystander behavior training.”  

Alpha Kappa Lambda’s and Pi Kappa Alpha’s national organizations and their respective chapters at the University did not respond to requests for comment. The University’s Theta Tau chapter also did not reply to a request for comment regarding hazing and alcohol violations in fall 2022. Similarly, Andrea Benek, chief of staff at Zeta Beta Tau’s national headquarters, declined to comment, stating that Zeta Beta Tau “does not comment on investigations.”  

Greek Scorecards for previous semesters showed that in the spring 2021 semester one fraternity breached hazing guidelines, with two such infractions in the fall 2021 term and zero in the spring of 2022.  

It is unclear how many hazing violations occurred in semesters before spring 2021, as the Greek Scorecard data was not available in fall 2020 due to COVID, and it did not use a format that specifically described the respective category of violations committed in terms prior to fall 2020. As such, the number of infractions for fall 2022, five, is at least the most since the spring of 2021.  

Several organizations breached the University’s alcohol guidelines, which prohibits underage consumption of alcohol, serving alcohol to an underage student or knowingly allowing them to consume alcohol, using unlicensed common source or tap systems to hold alcohol, or participating in or possessing paraphernalia for drinking games. The Beta Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi, the Omicron Deuteron Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa and Theta Tau violated such guidelines. 

Notably, previously-released Greek Scorecards showed that Phi Sigma Kappa was under disciplinary probation during the fall and spring 2021 semesters as well as the spring 2022 semester for two separate hazing violations, one of which occurred in the spring 2021 term and the other in the fall 2021 term, with the latter’s resulting probation ending in May 2022, but the chapter only breached alcohol guidelines in the fall 2022 semester. 

Similar to the University’s response to the hazing infractions, Delta Sigma Phi received disciplinary probation until the end of the spring 2023 semester, while Theta Tau had an even longer probation period, extending to the end of 2023. Phi Sigma Kappa only received a disciplinary warning, which is a written reprimand from the University. 

The chapters of Delta Sigma Phi and Phi Sigma Kappa and their respective national organizations did not respond to a request for comment.  

Eight IFC chapters had lesser violations that did not fit into the categories of “hazing,” “alcohol,” or “sexual misconduct,” such as breaching social event guidelines.  

Of those eight, Kappa Sigma and Lambda Chi Alpha each had one such violation. The latter’s national headquarters declined to comment, deferring to the University’s media relations department, while the former did not respond to a request for comment. Additionally, Phi Sigma Kappa, which also violated alcohol guidelines, and Zeta Beta Tau, which reportedly hazed, each had one infraction in this category. 

Several Greek organizations were not reported for breaching University guidelines this semester, but did have sanctions from previous violations that carried over into fall 2022. Notably, Delta Chi had probation for a previous hazing infraction, Pi Kappa Phi for an alcohol and another unspecified infraction, and Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta of the National Pan-Hellenic Council for one unspecified infraction each. All four organizations had their probation periods expire in December.  

Elissa Nation, President of the Lambda Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta at UA, commented to The Crimson White, stating that the Lambda Zeta chapter is now in good standing with the University and is “committed to continuing the work of our trailblazers by focusing on sisterhood, scholarship, service, and social action.” 

Delta Chi’s and Pi Kappa Phi’s campus chapters and national headquarters did not respond to a request for comment. Kalynn Mcelrath, the president of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Theta Sigma chapter, declined to comment. 

Assistant Director of Communications for the University Shane Dorrill said he did not have information about the nature and disciplinary consequences of the violations.   

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life did not provide comment on the specifics of the various violations, instead deferring to the Greek Scorecard for the semester.