Phi Kappa Psi suspended for 2 years following UO investigation into derogatory document

The University of Oregon Phi Kappa Psi chapter has been suspended for two years following a UO investigation into a defamatory document labeled with the fraternity’s name and containing the names of many of its members, after finding that it violated the university’s Student Code of Conduct.

The investigation into the 32-page document, which contained homophobic slurs, rape jokes and derogatory language directed toward women, started in May, following the Emerald’s publication of a story revealing the document’s existence, and concluded Wednesday.

The chapter will no longer be recognized by UO and must cease all activities, including those both on and off UO grounds, such as campus recruitment.

The suspension will begin in September 2018 and will end in August 2020, but Phi Kappa Psi’s status will not automatically be reinstated until the chapter goes through a process that requires chapter members to attend mandatory education. Chapter members cannot recruit new members until the chapter becomes university-recognized.

The Emerald reached out to Phi Kappa Psi president Michael Wagemann for comment on Friday afternoon but did not hear back before publication of this article.

UO determined that the chapter was responsible for the conduct violation and not any individual students, said UO spokesman Tobin Klinger, who did not have further specifics at the time.

Suspension is the second-highest form of sanction, which become progressively more stringent with repeated violations. The highest form of group sanctions is disbandment, which requires members to dissolve their organization. The highest form of sanction on individual students is expulsion.

The two-month long investigation involved interviews by a third-party investigator with a random sample of new and current fraternity members to determine any student conduct code violations.

Other UO fraternities have also been previously suspended: Chi Psi and Sigma Pi were suspended until fall 2018 for alcohol and hazing violations.

Klinger did not know at the time as to whether the document could be classified as a type of hazing.

Unrecognized fraternities and sororities may attempt to continue to operate, which UO considers “underground activity” that violates UO policy, according to the UO Fraternity and Sorority Life website. Beta Theta Pi, Chi Psi, Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Pi are all unrecognized fraternities.

The Emerald will continue to report on this story as it develops.

Corrections: This article was corrected to fix a first-reference error to Tobin Klinger. Delta Tau Delta is no longer on a suspended status. A previous version of this story stated that Klinger couldn’t provide further explanation on the suspension. It has been updated to reflect that he provided all the information that was available at the time.

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