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JHU suspends frat involved in rape accusation for unrelated concerns

The Johns Hopkins University has suspended for a year the fraternity involved with a rape accusation for unrelated concerns and has ordered the members to leave their off-campus fraternity house.

The suspension was announced to the university community Saturday morning in an email obtained by The Baltimore Sun. University spokesman Dennis O'Shea confirmed the authenticity of the email but had no further comment.

The email, signed by Vice Provost for Student Affairs Kevin G. Shollenberger, says the university suspended its chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha through the 2014-2015 academic year after officials found it had violated several university policies. The fraternity chapter and national organization, known as Pike, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.

"The university's overriding concern in matters of conduct and discipline is the education, safety and well-being of all its students, including those who may have committed offenses," Shollenberger wrote. "Our hope is that Pike will comply with our conduct requirements and reintegrate into the university community at the conclusion of its suspension."

The violations are unrelated to an incident involving the reported rape of a Towson University student at a party at the Pike house last year. Earlier this month, the incident became public and a group of students filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging that the university violated federal laws requiring the rape to be reported to the campus community in a timely manner.

Dozens of students protested, saying they felt the university was mishandling rape allegations and was keeping the community in the dark about crime. President Ronald J. Daniels pledged an internal investigation in response.

The email says university and city authorities witnessed underage drinking, minors given alcohol, unsafe behavior, "failure to comply with university and police directives" and the disturbance of neighbors at a party during Homecoming weekend in mid-April. The chapter was already on probation for the semester and not allowed to host social events after similar issues at another party in January.

"There also have been other significant complaints and allegations made regarding the Pike fraternity," Shollenberger wrote. "The sanctions we are announcing today, however, are predicated on conduct described in this message for which the group has been found responsible by the university."

The chapter must become inactive, stop recruiting new members and cannot sponsor social gatherings until its suspension is lifted. It must also submit a plan to the university for how it will improve upon the concerns officials raised. Members must also leave the off-campus, privately owned home they share in the 3200 block of N. Charles St. by the end of the month, "in light of the health, safety and conduct issues arising from the chapter's residential arrangements."

They may not make similar housing arrangements together elsewhere, and if they are found in violation of the terms of the suspension, the university can revoke its recognition of the chapter.

cwells@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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