UO fraternity closed after controversy over derogatory letter

The letter was found with the name of the fraternity on it and several member's names.

Posted: May 3, 2018 6:55 PM
Updated: Aug 3, 2018 5:12 PM

UPDATE: The Phi Kappa Psi Chapter at the University of Oregon is no longer being recognized by Phi Kappa Psi headquarters or the University of Oregon.

The chapter was closed July 18 after a joint investigation between the University of Oregon and Phi Kappa Psi officials. The University of Oregon suspended them in May following an investigation into a 32-page document containing offensive language and jokes labeled with the fraternity’s name.

The chapter is eligible for return in the fall of 2020.

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EUGENE, Ore. -- A University of Oregon fraternity has been suspended after the Daily Emerald published a document with offensive language, appearing to be in connection to the chapter.

Phi Kappa Psi’s name is on the front of the 32-page document, and members’ names are listed throughout it.

The document contains statements and questions that are homophobic and reference illegal drug use, as well as jokes about rape and derogatory comments about women.

The fraternity has been placed on emergency temporary suspension by the university and on interim suspension by Phi Kappa Psi headquarters.

Marcus Langford, Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Oregon, says the document is “problematic,” and the language is “completely counter” to the UO as an institution, what they represent, and the values they try to instill in their students.

If the document is found to be in connection with the fraternity, it potentially violates the hazing policy in the student code of conduct.

“You cannot put people in environments, situations or context that are intentionally demeaning, or abusive, or where you cause them to become sources of ridicule. And so clearly this would fall into that,” Langford says.

Officials in the Dean of Students office will conduct an investigation, beginning with conversations with fraternity members.

After these conversations take place, an outside investigator within the conduct office will decide if there was a violation of the conduct code.

If found guilty, punishment could range from suspension to the fraternity being removed from campus permanently.

The fraternity’s headquarters also released a statement, saying, “The messages contained in the document do not reflect the values of Brotherhood, Respect for the Dignity and Well-Being of Others and Personal Integrity. Nor do they align with expectations of Phi Kappa Psi membership. We will get to the bottom of this.”

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