[CORRECTION: The original version of this article stated that the fraternity was kicked out of Arizona State University. This is not true. The fraternity was kicked out of the University of Arizona. We apologize for the error.]
The Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity at the University of Arizona has been removed from campus following threats made to pledges. The New York Post reports that students were forced to solve puzzles while intoxicated and were told that “rats” would be murdered if they went to authorities.
At least one student was seriously injured during the “Puzzle Night” proceedings. A letter from the dean of students details just some of the offenses of that evening: “A witness was allegedly told by members of the fraternity the night of the assault, that ‘we kill rats,’ and stated that new members were forced to consume alcohol and placed in a room where music was blaring,” the letter reads. “When asked if alcohol was present at this new member event, [the frat’s president] stated that it was, but that no one was required to consume alcohol. [He] stated that he understood that not everyone present at the new member event was of legal drinking age.”
“[The frat’s president] stated that the incident happened because the new member process has strayed, and that in the future, the fraternity will work to have more involvement in the community, and Greek Life, and that there is no tolerance for physical assault,” the letter continued. The night in question eventually lead to the arrest of 19-year-old Cody Ward, who was deemed to have violated the school's policy.
The University of Arizona has since revoked the frat's univeristy recognition, meaning that their actions are no long officially sanctioned by the school and that they no longer may conduct activities on campus. They are also forbidden from recruiting new members. The organization has until May 25th to appeal the decision.
University representatives and University police are not offering comments on the situation until an investigation is completed.
"The University of Arizona has no tolerance for behavior that hurts students or puts them at risk," UA Dean of Students Kendal Washington White said. "The serious nature of the assault allegation warranted the university's decisive action."
The frat had faced a similar situation last year when students violated the school's policy on alcohol. The school forced the students to give presentations on alcohol safety and the group was put on probation.