The University of Kansas has placed the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) frat on a two-year probation. The move follows an investigation of hazing, after 18-year-old Matt Fritzie was airlifted following his dive into a temporary pool.
KU determined that the frat had violated the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities for hazing.
"After a thorough investigation, the evidence substantiates that members
of Phi Gamma Delta violated the university's hazing policies," Marlesa Roney, vice provost for student success, said in a statement. "This is a serious
violation of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and has
resulted in appropriate disciplinary action."
Hazing is defined in the code "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."
The university's investigation failed to determine whether "hazing resulted in any physical injuries."
So what's probation mean for the boys of FIJI house? The university will watch 'em closely, and they won't be able to take part in university events such as the Rock Chalk Revue and intramural sports. They'll also have to go alcohol-free through the 2011-12 school year, won't be allowed to take part in social events for the rest of fall 2010 and won't be able to hold social events on their grounds through spring 2011, and all members of the chapter must do community service. They'll also be required to start programs and policies to "eliminate hazing."
At last word, Fritzie had been moved to a rehabilitation center. While his condition hasn't been released, another fraternity pledge told the Lawrence Journal-World
that "Fritzie initially was paralyzed from the chest down."
The national Phi Gamma Delta
fraternity was also investigating what happened at the house.
Chris Fellows, a former pledge at the frat, explained how the
makeshift pool was constructed to the Journal-World. The pool was created by "lining up
sandbags in a
parking lot, putting a tarp inside, and filling it with water from a
hose." Fellows, who is 6 feet tall, said the pool was no higher than his
Fellows added that he didn't see Fritzie drinking,
didn't see anyone encouraging him to jump into the pool and didn't see
anything he considered to be hazing. Reports said the party continued after Fritzie was rushed to the hospital. The party is certainly over now.