On March 16, a hazing report was filed against Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which resulted in a three-year suspension for the fraternity and the arrests of seven students and one individual that previously attended the college.
Acts of hazing are considered a violation of the university hazing policy and state law. On May 5, a misdemeanor summons was issued to Cristian Merrick, Christopher Newton, Riley Baumgarner, and Coleman Faucheaux. On May 6, a misdemeanor summons was issued to Isaac Callais, Dawson Crosby, August Chopin, and Evan Delhom. The charges are for criminal hazing.
According to Eric Maron, Senior Communications Representative, “The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has suspended Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity for three years following an investigation of hazing allegations,” Maron said, “Allegations included sleep deprivation and performance of calisthenics.”
These seven students will suffer collegiate sanctions that may result in expulsion, suspension, or dismissal from the university. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities investigates and decides the penalties for hazing.
“A person who takes part in hazing activities that result in death, a serious bodily injury or the victim’s blood alcohol level reaching at least .30 would face up to five years in prison and can be fined up to $10,000. When hazing doesn’t lead to death, a person can be fined up to $1,000 and six months in prison,” states the UL Website.
“A misdemeanor crime in Louisiana is any crime that does not carry a sentence of hard labor. Under Louisiana law, a misdemeanor is any crime that is punishable by time in parish jail and/or a fine, but not by a sentence in state prison,” Lt. Billy Abrams, Public Information Officer for UL Police Department, stated.
Pi Kappa Alpha was first chartered at UL Lafayette in 1969 and then refounded in 2007. The international fraternity has over 220 groups in the United States and Canada. The Pi Kappa Alpha nickname is “PIKE” and the members are known as “Pikes”.
Grant Gebo, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, said, “It’s a tough time right now and we have no interest in discussing this matter.”
Maron said in a statement sent to The Vermilion, “UL Lafayette has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing and takes allegations and incidents of hazing seriously. The University provides hazing prevention resources and training and encourages anyone to report suspected hazing by visiting this website.”
According to the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities, “The student conduct process at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is created to provide a fair and engaging process for the resolution of alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct.”
The incident is under investigation by the University of Louisiana Lafayette Police Department and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
“If anyone knows, sees, or suspects any type of illegal or unusual activity, they are encouraged to call 911 and report it. They may also contact the UL Police Department directly at 337-482-6447,” Abrams said.