Phi Kappa Psi loses one its largest chapters after repeated violations force the suspension of Phi Psi at the University of Arizona
The decision to cease chapter operations was not something taken lightly by the ruling body of the Fraternity. Members of the Headquarters Staff conducted a lengthy investigation of multiple allegations, in cooperation with the university. These findings were presented to the Executive Council, with a representative of the undergraduate chapter present for discussion of the charges against Arizona Alpha.
At the center of the case against the chapter were repeated instances of hazing over a period of time. The chapter's efforts to hide the truth and mislead those investigating the allegations also contributed to the final action. All of these factors were in addition to multiple chapter violations of the Fraternity's risk management policy and those rules and regulations of the University of Arizona.
"Phi Kappa Psi takes a no-tolerance approach when it comes to the hazing of our members," said Executive Director Shawn Collinsworth. "Any chapter participating in any activities that aim to humiliate or harm new members are acting in a way that contradicts our mission and values."
Installed on the Tucson, Arizona campus in 1947, 762 men have been initiated into the Arizona Alpha chapter, including "Mr. Phi Psi" Ralph "Dud" D. Daniel, the Fraternity's second executive director. While this decision deprives Phi Kappa Psi of one its largest and most historic chapters, the Fraternity looks forward to returning to the campus in the near future and working with the university to bring a positive Phi Kappa Psi presence back to Tucson.
Dignitaries gathered in Tucson in 2007 with "Mr. Phi Psi" Dud Daniel (second from left) when a bench on the University of Arizona campus was dedicated in his honor. Brother Daniel was a founding father of Arizona Alpha and a large part of the history of the chapter within Phi Kappa Psi. He passed away in January of 2011.
"We have great alumni and a tremendous history at the University of Arizona," Collinsworth said. "This is not our brightest moment on campus, but we are confident that we will return soon and provide a student experience that will align with our expectations of Phi Kappa Psi membership."
Arizona Alpha becomes the second high-profile Phi Kappa Psi chapter to be closed in the last year. In June of 2011, the Executive Council voted to close the California Epsilon Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi at UCLA. Repeated risk management violations and a culture contrary to the ideals and expectations of the National Fraternity led to that decision.
The Fraternity is committed to working with each group to make sure a positive student experience is provided for all members, but recognizes when tough decisions must be made to maintain the integrity of the organization.