LSU fraternity under investigation, school providing few details _lowres

The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house located on LSU's campus, Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Another LSU fraternity has been shut down, this time in a move prompted by national fraternity leaders who deemed the chapter "unsafe."

The LSU chapter of Lambda Chi was closed officially this past Sunday after a vote of the fraternity's board of directors. 

"Based on the recent chapter history, the fraternity Board concluded that the chapter was unsafe and didn't promote a healthy environment or one conducive to learning or personal development" the fraternity wrote in a statement. "Under the terms of the closure, no individual may represent Lambda Chi Alpha or the Upsilon chapter in any manner on the Louisiana State University campus, including social events, intramurals, and the Inter-Fraternity Council."

A spokesman for the organization said the chapter, which had been placed on probation for repeated violations, failed to meet the terms of its probation as imposed by the national headquarters. 

"This extended failure prompted the Board's vote and decision to close," said Lambda Chi national spokesman Tad Lichtenauer, adding that the chapter's history of violations played a key factor.

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said the university was contacted by Lambda Chi's national organization about the decision on Oct. 9. A meeting took place with the students of Lambda Chi on Oct. 22 to let them know about the decision. There were 14 active members of the fraternity.  

Lambda Chi was on university probation for hazing through May 31, 2019. The fraternity in late 2015 was accused of forcing pledges to stay the night at a tailgate spot on campus and drink alcohol. After that hazing incident, the national headquarters imposed an additional sanction that prevented members from living in the fraternity house last spring and this fall, which means no members were displaced by the closure. 

It's unclear when Lambda Chi would be allowed to return to LSU. 

"We would like to re-colonize at LSU in the coming years when the conditions are such that we believe we can successfully recruit the right men who are interested in our leadership, values, growth and philanthropy opportunities," Lichtenauer said. "We are in negotiations with the university about the proper timeline for our return." 

Lambda Chi's departure from campus comes as LSU administrators have vowed to scrutinize and root out bad behavior from fraternities and sororities. Last month, 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver died after police say he was forced to drink in a hazing ritual at the Phi Delta Theta house, police said. His blood alcohol level was 0.495. Ten men were arrested in connection to the incident, all booked with misdemeanor hazing. One student also was arrested on a negligent homicide count.

Phi Delta Theta was shut down by the national fraternity organization almost immediately following Gruver's death. 

Of LSU's Greek fraternities and sororities, Acacia, Sigma Chi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi fraternities are also currently banned from campus for bad behavior, though they can return after a period of years. Delta Sigma Theta is the only sorority that is removed from campus, which was done for a period of five years. The sorority's removal was initiated by the national organization. 

Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to clarify the status of Delta Sigma Theta.  

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.