A fraternity at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville has been suspended after a student was hospitalized with a dangerously high blood alcohol level. The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has been suspended indefinitely after the weekend incident, and the university says it will be refocusing its alcohol education programs. Police say an investigation into the incident revealed that the hospitalized student and other students at the fraternity were using alcohol enemas. Twelve students have been cited with underage drinking and one with disorderly conduct.
The fraternity was suspended because the incident occurred at the fraternity house on campus. The student has been released from the hospital, and while the UT Police Department mentioned the student’s cousin had told investigators that alcohol enemas were involved, their family has denied involvement and rescinded the statement. However, police did, find tubing and materials used to give alcohol enemas at the scene.
Campus officials had recently met with UT fraternity and sorority student leaders about alcohol when the incident occurred and the fraternity was subsequently suspended. The university is going to continue the investigation and students may face disciplinary action, according to Tim Rogers, the vice chancellor of student life.
“Shock would be an (overstatement),” Rogers said. “I myself had never heard of what has been alleged.”
As for the alcohol education program the university offers, Rogers said, “We’re going to continue the education, we’re going to continue the walk throughs. We don’t have a lot of knee-jerk reactive initiatives. We want to fall back and maybe refocus our existing programs.”
Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity is also investigating the incident after their chapter at UT was suspended. In a statement, Pi Kappa Alpha said their “mission is to develop men of integrity, intellect and high moral character and to foster a truly lifelong fraternal experience. These alleged activities are clearly not consistent with that mission, not are they representative of what the fraternity would expect from any of its members.”
The fraternity office said it is issuing their own suspension of their chapter at UT. Hazing did not appear to be involved in the incident.