Phi Kappa Tau suspended for three years


Phi Kappa Tau was suspended Jan. 15 from operating at Central Michigan University for three years after a number of student conduct violations last fall. 

Central Michigan Life reached out to the chapter for comment but they did not respond. 

"Phi Kappa Tau does not currently exist at Central Michigan University,” said Tom Idema, director of the Office of Student Conduct. “They have been sanctioned by the university and shut down by their national office.” 

The fraternity was originally suspended Oct. 5 for an alcohol violation, pertaining to underage drinking. When the fraternity continued to host parties and events during suspension, they were cited with failure to comply and were suspended temporarily.

“What started off as an alcohol violation, turned into an investigation. The group decided not to abide by the university’s temporary suspension,” Idema said. 

The group also violated the Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG), which is the risk management guidelines it agreed upon with the university. 

The university worked with the chapter’s national headquarters and alumni to define the terms of the suspension. The chapter will be allowed to regroup and reform once again in Spring 2021.  

“Most groups, you’ll see a four-year plus suspension,” Idema said. “But they got a three year, in part because of the fantastic cooperation from the national office and the alumni group.”

Problems tend to escalate as years go on, Idema said, so a suspension provides a clean slate for the fraternity.

“Sometimes you’ve got to give enough of a break, so that all the people involved, or have knowledge of, or know what happened, are gone,” Idema said. “Then you bring in brand new people to start the group, the way it was intended to be started.”

Another fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, is under two separate suspensions — one by the CMU office of Student Conduct and another put in place by its national office. The Office of Student Conduct suspended the fraternity indefinitely last semester, after it violated agreements made last spring during a probation period. 

One of the agreements was that the fraternity needed to elect an all new officers for its executive board. Rather than doing so, it elected just a few new members, while others remained. 

“Part of that was, we said, if you elect new officers, they can’t be the same people that were just in place,” Idema said. “The theory being that, if you were in charge while bad things happened, don’t have the same leaders involved. Hopefully bad things don’t continue to happen.”

Idema said the fraternity has plans to elect an all new board. Until that happens, it is suspended. It was brought to the attention of the Office of Student Conduct that there were still old members on the fraternity's board, when a hazing allegation was made against the fraternity. 

The fraternity’s national office decided to suspend the chapter as well, while the investigation takes place. 

“The goal here is to keep everyone safe, while we look into things,” Idema said. “If we find there are (further) violations, we will address those. If there are no violations, they will be returned to their previous probationary status.”