Pi Kappa Alpha on probation for trash, alcohol violations

By By Rita Totten , Staff Writer and

By Rita Totten , Staff Writer

The beer will no longer flow like wine at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house.

Because of noise, trash and alcohol violations, the Office of the Dean of Students placed the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on probation for one year, prohibiting the use of alcohol at the fraternity house.

A probationary hearing was held with officers of Pi Kappa and U administrators in which the Dean’s Office presented its issues with the fraternity, said Madson Thompson, the fraternity’s president. The fraternity responded with solutions to the issues and actions it would take to remedy the situation, but the office still officially put it on probation last Monday.

“Obviously no one is happy with the decision, but we are trying to stay positive and use this as a growing opportunity,” Thompson said.

Sixteen alcohol-related complaints have come in from residents since the beginning of the summer, said Jay Wilgus, assistant dean of students. They have been about things such as members being loud while drinking on the roof of the house and littered beer bottles and cans finding their way into the back alleyway and neighboring yards, he said.

Thompson said he recognizes the need for corrective action and agrees with some of the conditions of the probation. But where he holds the issue is with the ban on alcohol, claiming none of the 16 violations used to place the fraternity on probation were alcohol-related.

Thompson maintains the only areas of the student code they did violate had to do with noise and trash.

“Alcohol was not a common or determining factor in the complaints,” Thompson said, calling the alcohol ban an “unjust sanction.”

During the summer, the fraternity switched houses from its original location on University Street to the former Delta Delta Delta sorority house on 100 South. Eric Wright, internal vice president of Pi Kappa Alpha, said that to the best of the chapter’s knowledge, a high percentage of the complaints against the house have come from one or two neighbors, neither of whom live on 100 South.

Beth Arnett, who lives on Butler Avenue northwest of the fraternity’s new house, said she has had problems with the fraternity since it has been on campus.

“The problems got extremely bad when they moved to (100 South),” Arnett said. She cites noise, drinking, swearing, public intoxication and garbage among her chief complaints.

Although the greeks were only cited and placed on probation for violations regarding noise, garbage and alcohol, Arnett said she has made many complaints to both the city and the U and has been submitting documentation of all incidences.

Arnett has lived on Butler Avenue for four years and said she never thought she would experience the kind of behavior the Pikes displayed.

“I wanted to live in an active, vibrant neighborhood,” Arnett said.

She said that although some of her neighbors want to see the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity kicked off campus for good, she’s not at that point yet.

“I feel like the greeks take no responsibility for their actions,” Arnett said. “I would like to see (greeks) police and control themselves.”

In addition to the ban on alcohol, the fraternity must complete a total of 414 community service hours in the Federal Heights area, are forbidden to host any registered parties or functions, must attend alcohol education courses and complete another education course that the student dean’s office will determine.

The probation went into effect Tuesday, and the fraternity will be eligible to petition for removal of the probation on Sept. 23, 2010.

Thompson said he believes the restriction will be lifted next year when they appeal to the Dean’s Office.

“As long as we meet the terms of the probation, there is no way they can keep us on probation,” Thompson said.

Police reports were not immediately available.

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