North Carolina State fraternity suspended after offensive remarks surface

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 20, 2015 12:22 PM

By Colleen Jenkins

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - North Carolina State University said on Friday it had suspended a fraternity after the discovery of a book filled with racially and sexually charged comments, and the school also halted social events involving alcohol for two dozen of its fraternities.

The university said the decision to temporarily ban activities that include alcohol was in response to recent allegations of inappropriate behavior among members of the Greek system at the school and others around the country.

At least a half dozen U.S. college fraternities have been suspended or permanently closed in the past week over accusations including racism, hazing, nude photos and vandalism.

In the latest incident at North Carolina State, employees at a restaurant near the campus in Raleigh discovered the book, which the university said appeared to be a fraternity pledge book. School officials said they now have possession of the notebook as they investigate which individuals are responsible for its contents.

“N.C. State does not condone intolerant behaviors directed at any members of the community and the content in the book that surfaced Thursday night is deeply troubling," said Mike Mullen, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the university.

The school said it suspended the chapter of Pi Kappa Phi on an interim basis late on Thursday. The suspension halts all social and formal activities for the fraternity, including community service, fundraising and recruitment, a university spokesman said.

In a subsequent statement, the university said the suspension of social activities with alcohol for groups under the Interfraternity Council was "intended to refocus the Greek community on efforts to put in place measures to better address and elevate expectations for high standards of behavior."

Pi Kappa Phi's national organization said it had instructed members to cooperate with the investigation into the derogatory comments allegedly written by its members.

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"The written comments and quotes ... are offensive and unacceptable," Pi Kappa Phi Chief Executive Officer Mark Timmes said in a statement. "These statements are inconsistent with the values of Pi Kappa Phi and will not be tolerated."

Members of the fraternity chapter did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

Television news station WRAL reported on the book on Thursday and said it contained handwritten references to rape and lynching. Some of the comments were signed with names that matched members on the fraternity's website, the news station said.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Eric Beech, Susan Heavey and Bill Trott)