Suspended FIU fraternity in Facebook scandal probed
WEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Florida International University fraternity at the center of a scandal involving controversial Facebook postings has a history of disruptive behavior and other campus violations, school records revealed.
Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as PIKE, was suspended Wednesday following a string of posts on their now deleted Facebook page that contained photos of nude women, as well as references to hazing, drug use and trafficking. In one of the posts, a 10-milligram dose of the prescription drug Adderall was being sold for $5.
A student who lives in the Pi Kappa Alpha building but is not a member said he has not seen any of the alleged behavior that led to FIU officials taking punitive action. "I haven't seen anybody in the house [misbehaving]," said Constantine Vtorov. "[They're] laying low, trying to stay on the low, trying to get things back together, and hopefully it will all work out."
FIU records show PIKE was investigated in June for interfering in orientation activities, inviting new students to their building and serving alcohol. There were more alcohol-related incidents reported in 2011 and 2008.
More troubling allegations were reported in 2010. Several PIKE brothers were accused of vandalizing a student's car by painting obscene words and pictures and allegedly cracking the vehicle's windshield. Months later, records show the frat house hosted a party after "being instructed several times that the event was not authorized."
In 2009, PIKE brothers were accused of egging a neighboring frat house. In 2006, they were accused of disrupting an intramural soccer game.
Vtorov reiterated that he never witnessed his PIKE roommates committing these acts. "There's going to be parties everywhere, good parties everywhere, tailgates, people coming over to the house, people having a good time, but as far as anything crazy, I've never seen anything crazy," he said.
Other students, however, are disturbed by the allegations. "I just transferred from Penn State, and they had a PIKE there, but they didn't do anything like that," said student Nazlin Petit-Homme.
The Facebook allegations came to light in an anonymous e-mail containing 70 posts that was sent to school officials and the media. "It was just a shocker," said student Gloria Martinez. "I don't have Facebook, and this is why."
FIU officials released a statement that read in part: "The university took prompt action and placed the fraternity on interim suspension, pending the outcome of investigations by appropriate university departments, including the police. As a result, the fraternity has been instructed to cease all meetings and events."
Vtorov indicated the actions of a few should not reflect on all. "The [PIKE] people I know are intelligent, very smart, ambitious go-getters," he said. "As far as everything else goes, there's always the good and the bad."
FIU officials and police continue their investigations.
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