LSU’s Acacia fraternity has been shuttered — at least through 2018 — after a university investigation concluded that the group had hazed new members last fall.
According to LSU, the university was notified of several allegations against the fraternity, including forced alcohol consumption and physical violence.
The university says it confirmed those and other Student Code violations, including numerous acts of theft during a road trip to Auburn University last fall. Those thefts included “several high value items from a tailgate and a fraternity composite” from an Auburn fraternity house.
According to LSU’s letter notifying the fraternity of the investigation’s outcome, the university also confirmed a separate incident in which new members had to stand in hot steam for a long period of time. LSU determined that new members were not allowed to eat the week of initiation and were required to participate “in activities during the week preceding initiation that significantly interfered with academic and psychological well-being.”
“Hazing is not tolerated at LSU. We have taken swift action to deal with this matter and suspend this fraternity until at least 2018,” LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander said in a statement. “I hope this sends a very strong message to all of our students who participate in Greek Life activities. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable.”
According to LSU’s Office of Greek Life, the Acacia fraternity had about 51 members, plus 43 recruits, in the fall. LSU’s Acacia chapter was founded in 1956, and it’s among several fraternities that have houses on campus on West Lakeshore Drive.
LSU said earlier this week that the fraternity had been placed on interim suspension amid an investigation into “behavioral misconduct” claims but would not provide specifics related to those claims.
Acacia fraternity’s national headquarters announced Thursday that it also looked into the allegations of misconduct and agreed to dissolve its LSU chapter.
According to a statement from the national organization, it also found violations of the fraternity’s standards and policies related to the treatment of new members.
Acacia Executive Director Patrick McGovern visited campus March 17 and determined that “chapter rehabilitation might not be a possibility and that the chapter and community might best be served by a removal of the active chapter from campus,” according to the statement.
Under LSU’s student organization policies, the fraternity risks having its suspension extended if members attempt to operate an “underground” fraternity.
No pledges or initiated members will be allowed to be affiliated with the fraternity if it is reinstated after the suspension. If the fraternity applies for reinstatement, which it cannot do before July 1, 2018, then it must enter into a two-year trial agreement with the LSU dean of students. The fraternity also would be placed under the direction of an alumni panel that can’t include anyone who has been an Acacia member since 2012. The national Acacia website includes Louisiana U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, among its list of notable alumni. According to the fraternity, there are about 35 active Acacia chapters across the country.
Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.