Fraternity president says university hasn’t given reason for investigation

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Jessica Wade
Editor in Chief

Although the interim suspension of UNO’s Delta Chi chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) has been lifted, the internal university investigation is ongoing. According to Pike President Matt Johnson, the fraternity is still unsure of the exact reason for the investigation.

“They told us it was about our culture, but never specifically said what exactly it was about our culture,” Johnson said.

The investigation was first reported by the Gateway in January. Little information was offered from the university until an email sent March 22 from University Communications stated the interim suspension had been lifted.

“Following UNO standard procedures, the suspension as a registered student organization began Jan. 16, 2019 in response to reports of cultural and environmental concerns involving possible violations of university policy,” the email stated. “At this time, no further information is available. General outcomes for the chapter will be shared at the conclusion of the investigation.”

Johnson said he could not speak about an ongoing investigation into a specific fraternity member, but feels the investigation into the fraternity hasn’t been handled as it should.

“I think they answered the basic procedural questions of how the investigation would be run correctly, but never fully answered what we were being brought up for besides our culture,” Johnson said. “They don’t have guidelines for how an investigation is run for an organization, only individual guidelines.”

An email from Director of Conduct & Community Standards Trenton Fredericksen stated, “The chapter was notified of the reason for the investigation. A meeting that was open to all chapter members also provided students an opportunity to ask questions.”

When asked via email Jan. 20 how a fraternity investigation is conducted, Fredericksen directed the Gateway to the Student Code of Conduct.

Dean of Student Affairs Cathy Pettid gave this statement when the investigation was first reported by the Gateway: “Following our standard procedures, we took the interim action of suspending the Delta Chi Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha while we conduct an internal investigation into reports of possible violations of our student code of conduct. Our top priority is ensuring a safe and positive learning experience for all UNO students. Review processes–like this one–are an important part of that mission.”

Pettid, as well as Associate Director of Student Involvement Dustin Wolfe, Director of Conduct and Community Standards Trenton Fredericksen and Assistant to the Chancellor for Equity, Access and Diversity Charlotte Russell have denied to confirm the reason for either investigation.
The university also denied an open records request submitted by the Gateway, denying access to “a complaint; a notice of investigation; and an email to the respondent.”

The Pike Memphis Office responded to an information request, stating: “The Chapter is currently on interim suspension by the school for alleged violation. Moreover, the Fraternity supports the action taken by the Chapter to suspend the individual member alleged to be involved in this incident.”

Johnson expressed frustration at not knowing specifically what about the fraternity is being investigated.

“They have the right to go through the process with this investigation, but it’s just very touchy because again I don’t know what they’re investigating us about,” Johnson said. “They say confidentiality, but if we’re a part of this then we should know.”

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