Lehigh's Phi Kappa Theta chapter was dissolved on Jan. 20. The decision following a November 2019 incident after years of being on deferred disciplinary dissolution. (Kerry Mallett/B&W Photo)

NEWS BRIEF: Phi Kappa Theta fraternity charged with Lehigh conduct violations

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Phi Kappa Theta fraternity has been charged with various violations of the Lehigh Code of Conduct after two incidents at off-campus parties on Aug. 21 and Sept. 6.

An anonymous Lehigh community member, who attended the Aug. 21 event, sent an email to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards with a video recording of the brothers chanting a song with lyrics that included, “He’s gay, he’s gay, he’s gay as f—,” according to the Lehigh Greeks blog.

The person indicated that it made them feel harassed and asked the university to investigate. The Lehigh University Police Department also overheard the song on Sept. 6 when they investigated an off-campus party.

After seven members of the fraternity met with Chris Mulvhill, assistant dean of students, six of them confirmed the lyrics, as well as said that it is accompanied by “an encouragement to consume large quantities of alcohol,” the blog stated.

They also said that the brothers sing this song to other members on their birthdays.

This was declared hazing by the Office of Student Conduct. One brother who was interviewed said that he was “able to avoid (the song) by his birthday falling near a break,” the Lehigh Greeks blog reported.

Another brother commented that “You don’t have to (drink), but if you’re hearing that song, then yeah you kind of have to.”

Phi Kap was charged with violating Respect for Others (D1 – Hazing).

In an interview of several members of the fraternity, one witness gave false information to the investigators, according to the Lehigh Greeks blog. The individual was charged with violations of the Code of Student Conduct and admitted responsibility.

Phi Kap has also been charged with violating Respect for Community (A1 – False information) as a consequence of the member’s actions. This is due to an accountability statement that states that an organization can be held accountable for the actions of one of its members if their individual violation has to do with the group or organization.

In addition to the charges mentioned above, Phi Kap was charged with the following violations: Respect for Others (General); Respect for Others (B1 – Harassment); Respect for Community (J1 – Encouraging Others); Respect for Self (A1 – Unauthorized Consumption, Distribution, or Possession); and Respect for Self (B1 – Unhealthy Consumption).

Phi Kap is not the first Greek organization to be charged with unauthorized or illegal consumption and distribution of alcohol in recent months. Last semester, Pi Kappa Alpha, Lambda Chi Alpha and Sigma Chi fraternities, as well as Zeta Tau Alpha and Gamma Phi Beta sororities were charged with alcohol-related violations.

Phi Kap awaits their formal hearing to determine their disciplinary status.

The fraternity’s president, Nick Canonaco, ’16, could not be reached for comment.

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1 Comment

  1. Is this serious? Birthday drinking song directed at a member of a house at an off campus residence is a hazing violation? If you’re offended by the words, leave the event… It’s someone’s private residence.

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