FSU fraternity barred, being investigated in rape case
The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Florida State University is temporarily barred from a list of university activities for its connection to a rape case that occurred at the fraternity earlier this month.
Rachel Bukanc, the director of the FSU Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, wrote in a letter to Pi Kappa Alpha president Joe Vance that the organization will be placed on interim disciplinary action based on information she gleaned from the Florida State University Police Department incident report and the university's Title IX co-coordinator.
"The allegations include reports of Title IX concerns, lack of oversight for hosted social events where alcoholic beverages are present, and use of illegal substances stemming from social events that occurred on your premises during the fall 2014 semester," Bukanc wrote in a letter dated Friday.
The "interim disciplinary action" taken against the fraternity "for the protection of the university community" prohibits the organization from participating in any on or off-campus events, holding chapter meetings, serving on the FSU Interfraternity Council executive board, participating in intramurals or using university facilities. They also must immediately stop initiation and pledge activities. If they don't abide by these rules until the student conduct process is complete, the organization could be removed from the university, the letter said.
Vance, another fraternity member, and the organization's advisor Jimmy Keen met with the university to appeal the university's interim disciplinary action on Friday, according to another university letter. In the letter, FSU dean of students Alan Acosta upheld the decision "based on the seriousness of the alleged actions."
The call came in at 4:13 a.m. Oct. 11, a Saturday morning, with a listed address matching the fraternity's house on Heritage Grove Circle.
"A student reported she was a victim of a sexual battery at a fraternity," the report says. "Victim advocates responded to (Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare) where the victim was being treated."
Maj. Jim Russell, spokesman for FSU PD, said the investigation is still active and ongoing. The full report has not been made available to the Democrat.
Lisa Brock, the owner of Tampa-based Brock Communications, spoke on behalf of the fraternity Tuesday.
Brock said Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as Pike, has been cooperative with law enforcement and has not been charged with any student conduct code violations, but has begun the process for a disciplinary hearing. She doesn't know how many, or if any members are involved, but said the investigation is related to a "single incident," of which she declined to describe in more detail.
The process, she said, is still up in the air.
"We are trying to understand what the process is and we do not have any details as to a schedule, planned meetings, anything like that," she said.
"Pike is not going to tolerate sexual misconduct at any time," she said. All members sign an agreement saying they won't' take part in any "sexual misconduct," she added.
The national chapter has imposed no sanctions on the chapter as the investigation is ongoing. If there is a finding of wrong doing or charges, the punishment, Brock said, will be "swift."
She was quick not to blame any potential victims.
"If there's a victim out there, we don't' want to shame her," she said. "We don't know the facts of the case."