Documents reveal details of Chi Phi hazing allegations
Documents reveal details about why the University of Wisconsin chapter of Chi Phi fraternity was terminated in March after allegations of hazing.
In January, the dean of students received allegations that Chi Phi leaders and members hazed new members during an initiation weekend in December.
The frat was suspended while an investigation took place.
The investigation found that chapter leaders allowed and fostered a dangerous hazing environment. The chapter violated the terms of the university’s student organization alcohol policy by forcing underage new members to drink excessively.
According to documents News 3 obtained from the university, pledges were required to do wall sits, sleep in the house’s attic, eat unpalatable food and deliver coffee to active members.
The documents also describe a casket ritual in which pledges were put inside the casket and active members wore masks. During one of the casket rituals, an active member, who was intoxicated, reportedly stomped on the top of the casket hard enough to break through and injure the pledge inside, the investigation documents said.
“We found that members were forced to stay at the house for a certain amount of time. They were forced to wear hoods for certain parts of the ceremony. They were found to have food deprivation, were forced to eat things that weren’t palatable. They were also forced to consume alcohol and provided with marijuana,” Assistant Dean and Director of the Division of Student Life Eric Knueve said in March.
Pledges were also led to believe they were performing sexual acts on current members at an event, the documents said. During an interview, one of the new members said pledges were so shaken up that they were crying during the incident.
According to the documents, active members and pledges were interviewed at the end of January, and many of them were given the opportunity to be interviewed again because the Office of the Dean of Students did not believe their original statements were completely truthful.
The documents also show communication between current members and an alumni member talking about coming up with and sticking to a story about why a pledge was in a hospital.
Chi Phi is no longer recognized by the Interfraternity Council.
Knueve said the university deemed the fraternity to be in violation of four codes of conduct, and it has been removed from the campus as a registered student organization.
He said the fraternity will be able to reapply to the university in four years, but there’s no guarantee it will be reinstated.