UNF suspends Pi Kappa Phi fraternity for hazing

University considers case hazing, turns case over to police

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After a University of North Florida investigation found a fraternity told a pledger to steal university property and then offered him marijuana, Pi Kappa Phi was suspended indefinitely.

UNF told Channel 4 the stolen property was returned and the case was turned over to the university's police department for further investigation.

According to a statement from the university, "This is considered hazing and the university has a no tolerance policy for hazing."

In a letter to the campus chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, Laura Fox, assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, wrote: "Your new member program appears to be inconsistent with the values of both your organization and the University of North Florida. For the well-being of your membership and the university community, the suspension is indefinite, pending further investigation by Pi Kappa Phi headquarters and the University of North Florida."

The letter says the fraternity can continue to hold weekly chapter business meetings on campus and will continue to be represented at all Intra-Fraternity Council meetings and retreats.

On its website, Pi Kappa Phi is described as UNF's "leading fraternity," promoting academics and philanthropy, as well as sports and social life.

The national fraternity said it has also suspended Pi Kappa Phi at UNF to investigate the allegations. It is working with UNF's Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life staff.

"Should the Zeta Zeta Chapter be found responsible for violations of the fraternity's standards of conduct at the conclusion of the investigation, the chapter and individuals will be held accountable through our conduct process," the national fraternity's Chief Operating Officer, Christian Wiggins, said in a statement.

Students said they're surprised to hear about the hazing incident and are concerned it could negatively affect the school's reputation.

"I'm kind of speechless. That's just like not something I would hear every day," said UNF student Stephanie Stiles, who's in a sorority. "You know, we always have a whole seminar each year how hazing is horrible and you shouldn't do it."

Even though there are no fraternity or sorority houses on UNF's campus, some students are concerned it still happens there. While this case is different from other reported cases at universities across the state, many say hazing should never be tolerated.

"If it's illegal, it's bad," student Asante Smalling said. "I don't think you should really compare anything with what we did was better, because that was violent, because at the end of the day, you still get in trouble with the law, so it shouldn't have been done."

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