The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

They received four times what they asked for -- and it made the Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Board anything but happy. In May, the Greek judicial board recommended that the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity should receive a one semester suspension for recent hazing violations. But last month, Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson rejected the recommendation and opted for a two-year -- or four-semester -- suspension. Morrisson also placed all current PiKA brothers on early alumni status and prohibited them from living in the fraternity's house on the 3900 block of Spruce Street. Two student members of the FSAB said this week that Morrisson's decision undermined the board's work. "In a sense it makes you question whether the FSAB has any authority and whether the University takes you seriously," student member Vicki Johnson said. Johnson, a sister in Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority who graduated from Wharton in May, said Morrisson "went beyond the call of duty" in rejecting the board's consensus recommendation. Rachel Wagman, the board's non-Greek student representative, also expressed dismay over Morrisson's rejection of a recommendation she said the board had spent so much time on. "I was surprised. My guess is that everyone else was too," the College senior said. "We spent quite a bit of time one night and we were really trying to be fair. "It was just disheartening after all that work that she didn't use our recommendation," Wagman continued. But while Morrisson increased the recommended punishment, she accepted the FSAB's findings of facts in the case. During a May hearing, the board found PiKA collectively responsible for planning unauthorized pledge trips, holding pledge meetings at forbidden times and covering each other with paint after initiation. The board also found PiKA officers guilty of not taking action when the chapter president learned some pledges "were engaging in frequent use of marijuana." PiKA was already on probation during the alleged incidents. In 1990, the house received probation for bringing a sick horse to the fraternity's house as a prank and for staging a fake hold-up in a subway station that police believed was real. It was the board members themselves who rejected the agreement's clause that further violations would result in "an immediate suspension for a period of no less than two years." Morrisson has said she was simply following terms of the agreement. But both Johnson and Wagman said the board was aware of the probation agreement when it made its recommendation. "It was taken into consideration," Johnson said. "We recommended the suspension to have something in keeping with the actual agreement, but we didn't feel PiKA should just be disintegrated off the entire campus, so to speak." "They did have a history of -- not problems, but incidents," Wagman explained. "This wasn't something that just happened. There was a history." But board members said they opted for leniency because they perceived PiKA was making efforts toward improvement. Johnson said the suspension will do more harm than good. "They're going to miss out on being able to perpetuate these ideas." Johnson. "Basically they're going to have to start from ground zero." Johnson noted that she missed graduation festivities while the board wrangled over their recommendation for eleven hours, during a meeting from 5:30 p.m. on May 13 to 4:30 a.m. on May 14. "It was in the middle of my senior week. I missed a complete day and night," Johnson said. "We literally nitpicked over that whole thing." "If I had known she was going to do that, I could have gone out on my senior week," she said. According to Wagman, the disappointment over the decision was not strictly personal inconvenience. "I feel badly because I know guys in PiKA and they are really nice guys," she said. The FSAB includes two faculty members, three members of the Interfraternity Alumni Council and three University students, including two fraternity or sorority members. David Freedman, the fraternity student representative, was travelling and could not be reached for comment this week.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.