Fraternity suspended after university investigation

The+Pi+Kappa+Phi+house+is+located+on+Comanche+Street+near+the+place+of+attack+on+Nikolas+Panagiotopoulus+on+Oct.+27%2C+2019.

Rebecca Harrell

The Pi Kappa Phi house is located on Comanche Street near the place of attack on Nikolas Panagiotopoulus on Oct. 27, 2019.

Daniel Weeks, Assistant News Editor

Texas State’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter faces a seven-year suspension from the university following an alleged assault perpetrated by members of the fraternity. The national chapter has since submitted an appeal to the university’s decision.

An official statement from the university, provided by Media Relations Manager Jayme Blaschke, reads, “The administrative review of Pi Kappa Phi has been completed. The fraternity has been suspended for a minimum of seven years beginning Jan. 27, 2020.”

The alleged assault took place Oct. 27 around 2:30 a.m. according to a video showing Texas State senior Nikolas Panagiotopoulos being assaulted by members of Pi Kappa Phi. He proceeded to file a lawsuit against the local fraternity chapter and three of its members.

According to the lawsuit, the attack hospitalized Panagiotopoulos for weeks afterwards, temporarily confining him to a wheelchair due to injuries to his skull and brain.

Student Involvement Associate Director Brenda Rodriguez said the decision to suspend the organization was determined in order to effectively reset the culture.

“Typically, we may go five years because we want to ensure there’s a substantial amount of time to eliminate a culture within an organization, especially if there are freshmen that are initiated at the time of an incident,” Rodriguez said. “The goal is to hopefully graduate (whichever) individuals were involved and allow for a breath of time, then the organization can hopefully return to a new culture.”

Rodriguez said the findings of this particular case lead to extended sanctions.

“We find there are instances where there needs to be a stronger amount of time that an organization may not return to campus, based on these findings the decision was extended to seven years.”

Rodriguez said particular elements of alleged incidents are considered, including if the incident happened at the direction of the organization if a large number of members were involved and what the location f the incident was, to determine if perpetrators acted individually or in compliance with an organization.

Criminal violations are not taken into consideration during the university’s review process of an organization, according to Rodriguez. The sanctions placed on Pi Kappa Phi consisted only of the suspension.

Pi Kappa Phi used their opportunity to submit an appeal of the university’s suspension to the Organization Conduct Appeals Board following the notification of sanctions.

The Student Organization Disciplinary Procedures guidelines state an organization may appeal based on the following reasons, “A substantial procedural error that impacted the hearing; the sanction(s) considered too extensive for violation(s); or new information of a substantive nature not available during the original investigation was provided, prior to a decision being rendered.”

Assistant Executive Director of Communication of the national Pi Kappa Phi chapter Victor Tran declined to give a statement on the incident due to pending litigation. Pi Kappa Phi’s appeal process will continue through the Dean of Students Office.

For further information about Texas State greek life news, suspensions and recruitment, visit the university’s Fraternity and Sorority Life page.

News Editor Chase Rogers contributed to this article.


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