The interim suspension of UCF’s Pi Beta Phi sorority was spurred Nov. 21 after a screenshot of an anonymous post from an online message board alleging various types of chapter misconduct was submitted to the university.
UCF spokesman Mark Schlueb said in a Monday email the screenshot was submitted to the Office of Student Conduct using the online incident reporting form.
Schlueb said the Office of Student Conduct did not visit GreekRank.com and screenshot the anonymous post, which he initially told Knight News on Nov. 27.
It is not immediately clear how the information was relayed incorrectly. Knight News has requested records to clarify.
UCF’s Office of Student Conduct is responsible for handling complaints against students and student groups regarding possible violations of the university’s Organizational Rules of Conduct.
UCF Student Government President Kyler Gray said the Office of Student Conduct reserves the right to suspend and investigate any student or student organization accused of compromising student safety on an interim basis.
“While I understand the concerns that some students share in regard to due process, and the fact that the allegation was perceived on a completely anonymous public messaging board, it is the job of the office to investigate any hazing claim, whether reported directly to the office or not,” Gray said.
Gray also acknowledged that the current matter may beckon a larger question of the student conduct process.
“However, I do believe that this incident will open the discussion of what constitutes an allegation and what doesn’t,” Gray said.
Gray said that he has urged the chapter to cooperate with the office until the investigation is concluded.
Schlueb said the post — published under the username ‘Help’ on Nov. 15 — on GreekRank.com has since been removed.
The anonymous individual states in the post that he or she is not involved with Greek life.
The post details the user’s best friend — a member of Pi Beta Phi — was sworn not to reveal rituals after being hazed, forced to drink, and pressured to consume drugs by the chapter’s Pi Phi “mafia.”
The user detailed having to take care of the Pi Beta Phi member a few times while she was incoherent and throwing up for hours, and also claims the best friend felt stuck and is fearful of retaliation by the chapter.
“She wants to drop and report them but is too scared because they said if someone snitches they’ll know who it was,” the post reads. “They’ll find a way out of trouble because they’ve ‘gotten out of any investigation before’ and will deny everything.”
Pi Beta Phi is accused of violating both housing and conduct rules — the allegations include hazing, harmful behavior, and alcohol and controlled substance violations, according to the incident report. The sorority is also accused of violating local, state, and federal laws, the report states.
In a statement to Knight News, Pi Beta Phi’s national spokesman Shawn Eagleburger said in a Thursday email the organization takes any allegation of hazing and misconduct seriously and immediately placed the chapter on an “investigatory status” upon learning of the report.
Eagleburger said the organization is conducting a review and said he believes the allegations are related to individual members rather than the whole.
“At this time, we do not believe the full chapter was involved in wrongdoing,” Eagleburger said. “However we are looking closely at the actions of individual members to ensure any misconduct is addressed.”
The allegations against Pi Beta Phi will be heard by the Office of Student Conduct during a mandatory hearing on Thursday at 10 a.m.
Knight News reporter Megan Turner contributed to this story.
UPDATE: A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 27 with remarks from UCF spokesman Mark Schlueb that said the Office of Student Conduct searched the GreekRank.com site and found the anonymous post leading to the interim suspension.
The story has been updated to reflect that Schlueb reached out to Knight News by email Monday to amend his initial statement made on Nov. 27. While Knight News waits for the public record request to confirm the Office of Student Conduct’s online browsing history, both links will remain published for transparency.
Check back for updates.