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Monday, November 12, 2018

Activities & Organizations

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity indicted for alleged hazing


The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has been suspended until 2023 for alleged hazing charges. | File photo/The Cougar

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity was indicted Thursday by a Harris County grand jury for hazing in 2016, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said in a news release that pledges for the fraternity’s UH chapter were deprived of food, water and sleep. The charge is a Class B misdemeanor against Tennessee-based Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity Inc. with a fine up to $10,000.

The University suspended the fraternity in July, according to a statement released Thursday. The suspension expires in October 2023.

“Today we are grateful that our county partners have delivered a stern message through the grand jury’s decision against the fraternity, that such behavior, which jeopardizes the well being of our students, will not be tolerated,” UH said in the statement.

According to the news release, the indictment focuses on the treatment of one pledge between Nov. 17-20 in 2016. The DA’s office said the pledge was forced to roll around in vomit, spit and feces along with going without much food, water and sleep during that period.

KHOU reported the pledge had to be hospitalized for a ruptured spleen after playing a “green light game.”

The pledge was instructed to run across a dark rural stretch of off-campus land holding a glow stick. He was tackled by fraternity members in dark clothing and later hospitalized.

KPRC reported this indictment marks the first time hazing has been prosecuted in Harris County.

According to the University, UHPD helped with the months-long investigation.

“The University of Houston showed resolve in conducting a thorough investigation and holding the fraternity accountable,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in the news release.

In a statement, the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity said it does not tolerate hazing or maltreatment of members in any way. The fraternity also said the hazing allegations were “in the context of activities of the former Epsilon Eta Chapter, not The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity.”

The statement from the fraternity said it suspended the UH chapter in August and the international organization does not control any chapter members or their activities.

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