Ohio State University investigatory records show fraternities that were dealt some of the harshest punishments in recent months broke numerous rules relating to alcohol consumption, hazing and endangering behavior, including in the months after the university implemented a temporary blanket suspension on most of its fraternities last fall.
Investigatory files involving Alpha Epsilon Pi, Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Alpha Mu, which received years-long suspensions from Ohio State in the aftermath of the initial suspension last November, include reports of members with blindfolds, hours-long vulgar chanting from a fraternity house, new members required to be at a fraternity house at 4 a.m., heavy drug use by members and underage students drinking at fraternity-hosted events, with at least one needing medical attention afterward.
In the case of Alpha Epsilon Pi and Phi Kappa Psi, the chapters continued to engage in misconduct even as they were already under investigation for previous violations, records show.
The university had previously announced that Alpha Epsilon Pi and Sigma Alpha Mu had been suspended for five years, with Phi Kappa Psi suspended for four years.
Ohio State imposed a temporary blanket suspension on all 37 of its fraternities governed by the Interfraternity Council last November, citing a high number of investigations into their conduct that semester. The university then said 11 fraternities were under investigation.
Alpha Epsilon Pi continued to violate hazing, alcohol and other rules even after the blanket suspension, according to the records released by Ohio State on Monday.
"As has always been the case, all Ohio State sorority and fraternity chapters are expected to uphold the Code of Student Conduct, our community’s standards of excellence and all of the governing rules, guidelines and regulations that have been set forth by the university, national organizations and local chapters," the university said in an emailed statement. "It is the intent of the university to uphold the Code of Student Conduct..."
A heavily redacted Ohio State police incident report included in an investigative file for Alpha Epsilon Pi appears to stem from a party held at a fraternity annex house at 244 E. 17th Ave. in January. The report lists sexual imposition and burglary as offenses, but offers few additional details, with nearly two pages of the report’s narrative completely redacted. The sexual imposition and burglary offenses were later cleared after the victim refused to cooperate, according to the report.
Ohio State contends that a federal law obligated it to redact information from the university police incident report because it considers the document an education record since it is maintained by the Office of Student Conduct.
Alpha Epsilon Pi also was reported to have carried out a full recruitment cycle in January, in violation of its status with the Interfraternity Council after the November temporary suspension.
By February, an Office of Student Life official wrote in a letter to the fraternity that "there is reasonable cause to believe that the Eta Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi's activities pose a significant risk of substantial harm to the safety or security of themselves, others, or to property."
In addition, Sigma Alpha Mu was alleged to have hosted events between 2016 and 2017, which was prohibited during its "recolonization'' period following an earlier suspension of the chapter in 2013.