RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina State University has disbanded a fraternity after a pledge’s book containing racial and sexually violent comments was found at a restaurant, however the students responsible will not face disciplinary action, the school said Wednesday.
Following an investigation into the book, Chancellor Randy Woodson announced the Tau Chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity has been disbanded effective immediately.
“I hope today’s action makes it clear that there is no place for intolerance, sexism and racism at N.C. State,” Woodson said.
The university placed the fraternity on interim suspension on March 19 pending an outcome of an investigation “for alleged derogatory comments and quotes made by its members,” the national chapter of Pi Kappa Phi said on its website.
“I was amazed, offended, shocked, outraged, everything you could imagine,” Woodson said.
According to a statement from N.C. State, the fraternity was placed on interim suspension after the school learned about offensive comments found in an apparent pledge book.
Senior Katie Perry found the book and made copies before handing it over to school authorities.
“There’s a lot of overt racism, there’s pedophilia,” Perry said. “There’s rape, there is a lot of slurs against trans-women. There one about people with disabilities.”
The book, which Perry described as “horrifying,” contains more than 60 pages of material. Each page appears to contain the name of a pledge, their personal information and comments that attributed to that pledge on an adjoining page.
“If this was written about somebody wanting to shoot people we would take it seriously,” Perry said. “This is talking about raping people. Let’s show N.C. State we care about our women on campus.”
Woodson said the students responsible for the pledge book do not face disciplinary action because they are protect by free speech.
The university said members of the fraternity “agreed to accept the consequence of their behavior.” The fraternity can return to campus with a new membership in 2018, although there is no guarantee that it can return.
Pi Kappa Phi CEO Mark E. Timmes said the N.C. State chapter of the fraternity was suspended for “conduct inconsistent with the fraternity’s values and the fundamental principle of human dignity.”
“The quotes in the journal are reprehensible, unacceptable and perpetuate hateful stereotypes,” Timmes said. “The students recognize they violated our standards and have accepted responsibility.”
Woodson in a statement said the fraternity’s actions “in no way represent the strong character and values of our larger student body.”
“N.C. State will work hard to ensure these outlying actions never become accepted or tolerated at our university,” Woodson said.
The University said Woodson appointed the vice chancellor and dean of academic and student affairs, Mike Mullen, to lead a review of the Greek system to assess whether fraternities and sororities are “meeting the core values and high behavioral standards of the university.”
The review will focus on sexual misconduct, substance abuse, and diversity and inclusion.
“We set high standards for all of our students, including our Greek community, and we fully expect them to embrace this challenge, raise the behavioral bar and work proactively to create the best Greek system possible,” Mullen said.
An expert on hazing said pledge books like the one discovered last week are actually fairly common.
“This is really common,” Dr. Susan Lipkins said. “I’m an expert witness in hazing cases. I have not seen a hazing case where there aren’t things like this, names like this.”
Earlier this month, the university suspended the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity for violations of university and student code of conduct. Although the university could not confirm the exact reason behind the suspension, the fraternity had been under investigation after a sexual assault was reported at its house.