CSUN Shuts Down All Greek Pledge Activity Following Another Hazing Incident
CSUN has decided to officially ban all pledge activities after reports of a new hazing incident at the school, only months after a student died during a separate hazing while on a hike.
Dean of Students William Watkins said that the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has been suspended while the university is conducting a criminal and administrative investigation into a possible hazing incident. Watkins offered no details about the alleged incident, but he condemned the fraternity's actions in a statement:
It is shocking and disappointing that this conduct persists after all the efforts undertaken by so many this fall to ensure a recruitment-and-intake process that conforms to the university’s zero-tolerance policy on hazing. This most recent incident cuts to the core of the university’s ability to have confidence that all recognized fraternities and sororities will conduct appropriate new member recruitment and intake procedures that ensure the safety and well-being of CSUN students. As such, and after consultation with President Harrison, I directed that all pledge activities immediately cease and desist.
Armando Villa, 19, died while on a camping trip with the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity near Big Tujunga Canyon Road on July 1. He and the other pledges were supposed to find their way out of the forest, but were not allowed to have their cell phones, shoes or a sufficient amount of water. Villa lost consciousness and collapsed. His companions were able to flag down a forest ranger, but Villa was pronounced dead at the hospital.
In response, the Cal State Northridge chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity shut down and handed back their charter after the school's investigation determined hazing was involved in Villa's death.
Under the ban, sororities and fraternities are allowed to accept new members, but cannot involve these members in pledging activities. Those groups that are caught ignoring the ban will be suspended and may have their university recognition terminated.
Villa had joined tried to join CSUN's Pi Kappa Phi so he could make friends at school, but he had told other that he was not enjoying the pledge process before his death. He had complained to his cousins that his frat members forced him to sit in hot sand at the beach until his skin started peeling, and he had made a note in his phone that if he were accepted into the fraternity, he was going to work to put an end to hazing.