Nine LSU Delta Kappa Epsilon members were arrested Thursday and Friday on hazing allegations that allege some poured gasoline on pledges and forced them to lie face down on broken glass while they were urinated on.
[Update, 12:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 15: Two more DKE members arrested; new details revealed in arrest warrants]
The allegations come less than a year and a half after the hazing death of 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver. Gruver, a Phi Delta Theta pledge, died in September 2017 after a “Bible Study” at the Phi Delta Theta house during which pledge members were quizzed about fraternity history and forced to drink if they answered questions incorrectly.
Gruver died from alcohol poisoning and aspiration. His blood alcohol level was 0.495 when he died.
After Gruver’s death, LSU administration officials vowed to rehabilitate the culture of the school’s fraternities and sororities and adopted a zero-tolerance policy for hazing in student organizations. An anti-hazing task force organized after Gruver’s death issued more stringent requirements for sorority and fraternity chapters, but Gruver’s parents, Rae Ann and Stephen Gruver, and other activists insisted the reforms were ineffective “window dressing.”
Delta Kappa Epsilon is the fifth fraternity chapter removed from campus for hazing or dangerous practices since 2015.
One of the hazing task force’s initiatives included making a scorecard of chapter infractions available to the public on the university’s Greek Life website. According to the scorecard website, at least nine chapters are either barred from campus or under probation or suspension.
Here are the fraternity and sorority chapters currently removed from campus:
Phi Delta Theta
Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity that 18-year-old Gruver was pledging, was removed from campus immediately after his death. The decision was initiated by the national chapter.
Gruver died on Sept. 14, 2017, after a night of drinking at the Phi Delta Theta house. Fraternity members hazed pledges and made them participate in a drinking game where they had to drink if they answered quiz questions wrong, according to LSU police reports. Gruver's blood alcohol level was 0.495 when he died.
Eight members of the fraternity and two former students were arrested on misdemeanor counts of hazing. One of the members was booked on an additional felony count of negligent homicide.
Lambda Chi was shut down on Oct. 22, 2017, after national fraternity leaders deemed the chapter "unsafe." A spokesman for the organization said the chapter failed to meet the terms of its probation as imposed by national headquarters. Lambda Chi was on university probation for hazing through May 31, 2019. In late 2015, it was accused of forcing pledges to stay the night at a tailgate spot on campus and drink alcohol.
The national headquarters’ suspension will run through summer 2020.
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Here are the other LSU fraternities and sororities currently removed from campus:
-- Kappa Alpha Psi, banned from campus for bad behavior through Jan. 15, 2020.
-- Omega Psi Phi, banned from campus for bad behavior through May 31, 2019.
-- Delta Sigma Theta is the only sorority to be removed from campus. The sorority was initially put on probation after a secret initiation ceremony where sisters allegedly put eggs, whipped cream and syrup in the pledges' hair. Delta Sigma Theta national headquarters later initiated a move to ban the sorority from LSU through July 28, 2019.
Here are the fraternity and sorority chapters currently suspended or on probation with the university:
-- Pi Kappa Phi was placed on interim suspension by the university and their national organization in early October pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of “very serious” violations of the Code of Student Conduct. The university declined to offer specific details about the violations.
-- Delta Chi is under a deferred suspension through May 31 and disciplinary probation from July 1 through Dec. 31. In August 2018, they were cited for an alcohol policy violation that launched a university investigation into chapter violations of the Code of Student Conduct. LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said at the time the details did not indicate hazing was involved.
-- Pi Kappa Alpha was placed on disciplinary probation through December 31, 2019. They previously received a letter of reprimand from February 7, 2018 through December 31, 2018.
-- Pi Beta Phi sorority was suspended by its national organization in November after allegations a member gave a new member “a gallon of milk and gave her instructions to finish the milk within a certain amount of time,” according to a report from LSU Police. Pi Beta Phi’s suspension was not listed on the Greek Life scorecard, and the status of the chapter’s suspension is unclear.