On June 15, the University of Arizona announced the decision to issue a Loss of Recognition status to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity — also known as PIKE — after an investigation involving underage drinking, two students fighting and an underage, intoxicated and half-naked female UA student in distress all on the night of March 11, during the group's house party.*
Roughly two days later, a Banner University Medical Center nurse reported the alleged sexual assault of a different female UA student that reportedly happened at the PIKE house on the night of March 13, which conflicts with the fraternity’s official statements provided in the Dean of Students Office’s Loss of Recognition Letter.
Opening the letter, Rosanna Curti, assistant dean of UA Student Assistance and Accountability, said the investigation was based on allegations about PIKE’s behavior from around March 12 and 14, during “two separate incidents … involving underage drinking, parties, disruptive behavior, and alleged assaults on UA students.”
While the chapter, in the statements provided within Curti’s letter, acknowledged the party that happened on March 11, they said some pictures used in the investigation were taken out of context, had nothing to do with any party and were actually taken “on the evening of March 12,” from a "planned dinner event," that happened off campus. They also said, "Pi Kappa Alpha did not hold a party or large event on March 13, 2021 or March 14, 2021, as alleged."
The UAPD case summary involving the possible sexual assault from the night of March 13 suggests otherwise.
According to the police report, UAPD answered a call to Banner around 5:30 a.m. on March 14. A nurse said the woman (a 19-year-old UA student) had been sexually assaulted and claimed she went to a PIKE house party “earlier in the evening” — the night of March 13 — and remembered “waking up in a room at PIKE and someone had ejaculated on her back.”
UAPD officers reported in the case summary that the victim didn’t want to give an official statement that day, but did follow up around March 23 to ask questions about what steps would be taken next if she chose to move forward with the case.
According to the report, while the woman wanted to know the results of the Medical Forensic Exam kit — or “Sexual Assault Forensic exam” kit — that was sent for testing, she said she was out of town. The officer she talked with also let her know that “the lab often takes several months to process the kits.”
Halfway through April, UAPD received a notice that the lab test request had been withdrawn, thus leaving the case closed as no further information has come to light, according to the police report.
In the U.S., only around 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police, and only around 50 reports lead to an arrest, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Reasons for choosing not to report often include a fear of retaliation, a belief that it’s too personal, no faith in the police helping — especially with the sexual assault forensic exam kit backlog — and so on.
Despite this police report’s information, no specific details of this situation were mentioned in Curti’s summary of the overall investigation. The main focus seemed to be on what happened two days earlier at the March 11 frat party.
In the letter, Curti said the decision to issue PIKE a Loss of Recognition status was made on charges that the fraternity allegedly violated multiple rules from the Arizona Board of Regents’ Student Code of Conduct. The group is now banned from attending official UA activities and from using UA facilities and resources.
According to UAPD’s case summary report from March 12, UAPD officers arrived at the PIKE house around 2 a.m. to answer a call about the distressed female UA student. While investigating, two PIKE members broke out into a fight and one argued with police. This led to more UAPD officers on the scene, totaling up to seven.
In PIKE’s statements within the letter, they said they "reprimanded and sanctioned the individual," who they believed was responsible for causing the argument by suspending him from the chapter for the rest of the semester.
The statements provided did not mention the woman nor did they address the claim that PIKE members saw her but “stood by without calling for medical or police support,” and instead gave "her someone else's prescription inhaler," in an attempt to calm her down.
UAPD’s case summary report said the woman didn’t remember much of the night, but she chalked it up to “bad decision-making.”
Curti concluded the letter by highlighting the gravity of “the dangerous nature of the incidents” in which the fraternity, "more likely than not," violated the second, seventh, 15th and 26th sections of the Student Code of Conduct, which relate to endangering others, failure to comply with officials and/officers, distributing alcohol to minors and breaking federal or state laws, respectively.
“Unfortunately, some fraternities/sororities engage in behaviors inconsistent with the expectations and policies of the institution and/or national organization,” said Marcos Guzman, assistant dean of students and director of Fraternity & Sorority Programs, in an email.
While Guzman and Kendal Washington White, vice provost for Campus Life and dean of students, both said that Fraternity & Sorority Programs make a great effort to ensure students in Greek Life are educated on various university and national expectations, values, policies, procedures and more, Washington White also noted that a situation such as this can be caused just by individual people’s choices.
“The health and safety of all students is our top priority,” Washington White said in an email, “thus ANY student or clubs/organizations [violating laws] and/or the Student Code of Conduct are held accountable. … If the chapter identifies the problematic members, we will address those individuals involved so that the chapter can maintain recognition. My question to the students is, ‘Do you wish to maintain your beloved Chapter by sharing who are the outliers or lose your chapter?’”
PIKE has submitted an appeal, but no other information on it has been released at this time.
When asked for a statement, Blake Storey, current executive vice president of the Interfraternity Council who is also a member of PIKE, said he had no knowledge of the reported sexual assault from mid-March.
In regards to the Loss of Recognition status issued to PIKE, Storey said, "It was an unfortunate situation that happened, and unfortunately, it was blown up and portrayed poorly in the media."
*EDITOR'S NOTE: No names of those involved in police reports are used throughout this article
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