Archive for Friday, October 8, 2010

KU puts Phi Gamma Delta fraternity on two-year probation following hazing investigation

Kansas University placed Phi Gamma Delta on probation for two years after concluding a hazing investigation in October 2010. The investigation followed an incident during which KU freshman Matt Fritzie was injured while diving into a makeshift pool at the fraternity house on Sept. 17, 2010.

Kansas University placed Phi Gamma Delta on probation for two years after concluding a hazing investigation in October 2010. The investigation followed an incident during which KU freshman Matt Fritzie was injured while diving into a makeshift pool at the fraternity house on Sept. 17, 2010.

October 8, 2010, 1:24 p.m. Updated October 8, 2010, 5:35 p.m.


Kansas University places Phi Gamma Delta on two-year probation

The university released today an 11-page report of its investigation of the fraternity for hazing. Enlarge video

Kansas University has placed Phi Gamma Delta fraternity on probation for two years after determining the fraternity’s practices amounted to hazing.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, KU officials said their investigation found that the fraternity was in violation of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities for hazing. However, school leaders were not able to substantiate that hazing resulted in any physical injuries.

During the probation, the fraternity will not be able to participate in university events including Rock Chalk Revue and intramural sports. Also, Phi Gamma Delta must follow these actions required by its national office:

  • Alcohol-free housing through the 2011-12 school year.
  • No social events for the remainder of fall 2010 and no social events on chapter grounds through spring 2011.
  • A shortened new member education program lasting only eight weeks that is coordinated by graduate trustees.
  • Required community service hours for all chapter members.

Jill Jess, a KU spokeswoman, said that penalties are determined on a case-by-case basis.

The hazing investigation followed a Sept. 17 incident at the fraternity house, 1540 La., during which KU freshman Matt Fritzie was injured while diving into a pool. Fritzie was flown to KU Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

Fritzie was eventually released from the hospital and moved to a rehabilitation center. Chris Fellows, a former Phi Gamma Delta pledge, told the Journal-World that Fritzie was initially paralyzed from the chest down after diving into the pool.

The week after Fritzie was injured, KU placed Phi Gamma Delta on interim suspension and the fraternity’s national chapter announced they were investigating the incident.

“After a thorough investigation, the evidence substantiates that members of Phi Gamma Delta violated the university’s hazing policies,” said Marlesa Roney, vice provost for student success, in a statement. “This is a serious violation of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and has resulted in appropriate disciplinary action.”

Pledges were subject to hazing in a variety of ways, according to those interviewed during the investigation. A KU investigation report released to the Journal-World redacted names of individuals involved. KU officials interviewed a person who performed a swan dive into the pool and was injured — a person who, based on police and others’ description of events, was Fritzie. He alleged pledges:

  • Were forced to scrape and sand the popcorn ceiling and paint the ceiling and wall of the fraternity house, as well as to clean houses in Lawrence where live-out junior and senior members of the fraternity lived.
  • Were forced to do wall sits, sitting against a wall with knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and being forced to do “bows and toes,” an exercise where pledges were required to balance on their toes and elbows, keeping their body and back straight.
  • Were forced to drink beer, as active members would pour beer on a pledge’s face.
  • Built a makeshift pool out of sandbags for the FIJI Island party under the direction and supervision of active members.
  • On the night of the island party, were assigned to dress up as a character assigned to them by an active member — other members alleged costumes included Stuart Little, a Smurf, Waldo and a speed bump, among others.

Though Fritzie said he was “ordered” to jump into the pool, KU officials did not substantiate that claim in the report.

Ultimately, after more than two dozen interviews, the university substantiated that only three forms of hazing likely took place:

  • Extreme embarrassment or ridicule, when members were forced to wear costumes to the FIJI Island party.
  • Personal servitude, when members were forced to clean the apartments of active members and fetch items at the whim of active members.
  • Endangers physical health, by providing a culture where underage drinking was permitted, encouraged or possibly forced.

Download the full report here.

The university defines hazing as “any action, activity or situation that recklessly, negligently or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health, welfare or safety of a person; creates excessive fatigue or mental or physical discomfort; exposes a person to extreme embarrassment or ridicule; involves personal servitude; or substantially interferes with the academic requirements or responsibilities of a student.”

A statement released by David Smith, a member of the fraternity’s House Corporation, said the fraternity believed the actions of “a few members” resulted in the findings.

“Graduate trustees have been selected to review all actions of the fraternity, continuing the investigation into the findings of the University, and undertaking a membership review to determine which members will be allowed to continue as members,” the statement read.

Lawrence Police Sgt. Matt Sarna said the police are finished with their investigation into the fraternity, and did not find anything of a criminal nature that could be substantiated.


Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years ago

How can that be?

All of those former fraternity members said it wasn't hazing on the story about the kid getting injured.

The university and the national office both must be mistaken.

kusp8 6 years ago

Oh my....clearly people are mistaken. There is never anyyyyy hazing in the greek system. rolls eyes

Steve Miller 6 years ago

wow, the spolied brats get another brake... go figure..

Danimal 6 years ago

Hey, when you've got money you can do no wrong. This is an excellent way to reinforce the belief in these young men that they aren't held to the same standards as the rest of us. I look forward to their raiding my pension fund someday and getting 18 months of probation for it.

slowplay 6 years ago

How is jumping into a pool considered hazing. I must have missed something. Was he pushed, forced? Was he forced to consume large quantities of alcohol clouding his judgment causing him to dive into a shallow pool? Inquiring minds want to know.

BruceWayne 6 years ago

your're the coach,doctor,lawyer...why don't you tell us?

racerx 6 years ago

Did you read the story? The dive into the pool may or may not have been "hazing." That's irrelevant. The KU report outlined a series of things they do consider hazing (see five listed in above story). It's those hazing incidents that are the grounds for probation. The injury was simply the trigger for the investigation. The frat isn't necessarily being punished for that incident itself.

mbulicz 6 years ago

Is it Double Super Secret Probation?

Deja Coffin 6 years ago

Is there any update on the student that got hurt? I know it says that he was initially paralyzed from the chest down but that wording made me believe that it's possible his condition could have changed. Just curious because I've been hoping that he would be able to make a full recovery.

babyboycat 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

garyr 6 years ago

This is kind of off subject, but interesting. Did you hear that the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the African American only fraternity, came up with a new slogan. The new slogan is "Frats, not Gats". It's focused towards the inner city African Americans, trying to influence them to come to college and promote fraternities instead of staying in the neighborhood and live under the influence of violence and gangs.

somedude20 6 years ago

jesus, if a non-African-American ever said that Sharpton and Jackson would be in an uproar

booyalab 6 years ago

but then again, have they ever not been upset at something a non-African-American said?

jehovah_bob 6 years ago

I think it's pretty radical that they still use the word "Gat".

engagedecoy 6 years ago

"How is jumping into a pool considered hazing. I must have missed something. Was he pushed, forced? Was he forced to consume large quantities of alcohol clouding his judgment causing him to dive into a shallow pool? Inquiring minds want to know."

Has everyone here lost their common sense?????? Someone who was obviously there posted this comment on the original story....

"It was Fiji Island party. The sandbag made pool. And you have to be either trashed or real stupid to dive into that."

It was a make-shift pool, not a real pool. Hence the finding that it was hazing related and the punishment, however i do not agree with the punishment chosen. There should harsher punishments for this incident. For instance, that frat house should be closed and made better use of. Do we really have to hand out slaps on the wrist for obvious recklessness and endangerment of other people's safety by constructing a make-shift pool out of the parking lot.

Seriously, this is just ridiculous. Close the house and charge someone criminally, a young mans life has forever been changed because of the carelessness of the Frat house and KU.

engagedecoy 6 years ago

Not severe enough.

A young man was injured as a result of this incident. Not only that, but the fact that if you go further back into this whole story you would see that not only did this person require being flown via helicopter to KC, but the party was allowed to continue after the fact. The fact that the party continued on as if nothing had happened at all after he was flown away makes me disgusted at not only all the members of said Frat, but KU and any other officiasl that were present during this incident.

Tell me why, after a person was severely injured in a make-shift pool made out of sandbags and a parking lot, was this party allowed to continue on???

That right there should be enough grounds for further punishment of this Frat House.

gsxr600 6 years ago

This is the tip of the iceberg. It'd be nice if this was the beginning of the end for frats at KU but all know that won't happen.

Ricky_Vaughn 6 years ago

Maybe it's dodecatuple secret probation...

drnater 6 years ago

I still want to hear the toxicology report for the kid, because if in fact he was under the influence of alcohol, then charges can still be pressed on the house, for supplying to minors. However, watch out Heller will come on here and still try and prove that these things dont actually happen in real life. ONLY on the movies ladies and gents!

emaw 6 years ago

These must be some really cool guys for people to want to put up with all their crap....just to belong to a group that charges a fee to belong. Glad I never had to buy my friends!

engagedecoy 6 years ago

The party continued after he was flown away, why is this not a big deal to anyone????

Close this damn Frat House and take a real stand against underage drinking and hazing KU!

purplesage 6 years ago

And just why would anyone want to joing this bunch of sophomoric degenerates?

hail2oldku 6 years ago

Who's going to deliver the game ball for the football game Thursday night? Aren't the FIJI's the group that has the football relay from Manhattan to Lawrence (or vice versa) before the KU/KState game with the home team's chapter delivering the game ball and a check for the fundraiser?

missmagoo 6 years ago

just don't send them after my P.E.O chapter, okay? the hazing that goes on there is unreal!

rocksolid 6 years ago

After Last week and K-States big lost will they need a gameball? But seriously since this effects KU's chapter can K-States chapter step in and bring in the ball. I have a feeling it will be delivered by a parachuter with no mention of the FIJIS.

happyrock 6 years ago

You are all a bunch of whiners who were never popular enough to get into a frat. Quit your complaining.

Evan Ridenour 6 years ago

In current news...

Frats haze people.

Current update...

Some of the people who are hazed get physically or mentally scared for life.

Bozup 6 years ago

where's the criminal charges? I hope KU and LPD are working together. If this was a non greek house you can bet there would criminal charges! yet another way justice systems fails and deep pockets prevail!

cg1029 6 years ago

I love that everyone hears Fraternity and just assumes that all of the kids come from families with money. That would be the same as me assuming that because you judge those that are in fraternities you are poor and that you still live at home in your mothers basement playing D&D. Both may be true, but they are not always true.

You have a group of 18-22 year old kids living together and they are going to make mistakes. Is it tragic that the kid may be injured for life? Yes it is, but personal responsibility plays a part in every decision that we make. Was he forced at gun point to dive head first into a pool... No he made a decision to do something that he easily could have said no to.

7texdude 6 years ago

The kid was paralyzed from the waist down and all they get is probation? Wow. I wonder what the punishment will be when a kid dies next time.

LadyJ 6 years ago

The window on the upper left appears to have a problem. Wonder if it's an old photo.

dayday26 6 years ago

This is what happens when you pay for friends!! Learn to make friends on your own and you won't have to deal with this BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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