USC fraternities suspended from campus, on probation for hazing, drinking

Several fraternities at the University of South Carolina are suspended or are on probation following investigations by university staff, according to the Leadership and Service Center.

USC has barred Theta Delta Chi from operating on campus for four years last semester.

The fraternity is suspended until November 4, 2026, after it was found responsible for hazing, which is categorized as violent conduct.

The university investigated the fraternity following a Sept. 20 incident and flagged it for “inappropriate activities” that were part of the new member education experience. At that time, Theta Delta Chi had already been on probation for hazing.

It is unclear what those activities were, but one complaint against Theta Delta Chi involved a sexually explicit scavenger hunt, according to reporting by The Daily Gamecock.

Theta Delta Chi’s central fraternity office, based in Boston, Massachusetts, could not be reached for comment.

Hazing, as defined by university policy, is an act that is associated with being a member of any student group that would endanger a person’s physical health and safety or mental well-being. While often associated with binge drinking and public embarrassment, hazing can also mean cleaning, forced workouts, being on call for other members or physical violence.

“The rules that are in place for organizations and their members are in place to protect the safety and well-being of the students,” said university spokesman Jeff Stensland. “Hazing by definition jeopardizes safety and well-being. It’s not tolerated at the university.”

The university is increasingly finding out about things like hazing because members themselves come forward, Stensland said.

“That’s a good sign,” he said.

Five other fraternities at USC — Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Order and Phi Kappa Sigma — were put on conduct probation. This penalty often varies based on the infraction, Stensland said, but it means the groups have limitations on the things they are able to do.

The fraternities and their suspensions, according to the Leadership and Service Center are:

Kappa Sigma is on probation until Sept. 15, 2026, for hazing concerns and alcohol violations.

Phi Delta Theta was charged with failure to initiate new members on time and lied to the university about when they had completed initiation. It is on probation until May 12, 2023.

Pi Kappa Alpha was charged with failure to follow event policies and is on probation until Oct. 26, 2023.

Kappa Alpha Order is on probation until April 10, 2023, for hazing concerns.

Phi Kappa Sigma is on probation until March 29, 2023, for hazing concerns.

A sixth fraternity, Chi Psi, was charged with failure to comply and was given educational sanctions.

Degrees of punishment for student groups are often determined by the conduct violation, the evidence and the nature of the allegations, Stensland said. It is done on an individual basis.

“The more serious the infraction, the more serious the consequences,” Stensland said.

Lambda Chi Alpha remains suspended until the fall of 2023 after it faced allegations of hazing, alcohol violations and a physical assault in 2019.

USC’s Interfraternity Council could not be reached for comment.