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College of Charleston Fraternity Suspended

Incidents of alcohol, drugs & hazing

August 04, 2017 - 10:41 am


The College of Charleston says it has revoked a longtime fraternity’s recognition after repeated incidents of alcohol, drugs and hazing.

Thursday’s announcement came the same day a former student filed a lawsuit against the chapter after he said four of its members beat him and held him captive following an argument as leaders and the adult advisor tried to hide it from the school and police.

Pi Kappa Phi was actually founded at College of Charleston in 1904 and counts current college President Glenn McConnell among its alumni. A college spokesman said the school began its investigation in mid-May and reviewed other incidents dating back  three months.

The suit claims the student got into an argument with a newly-initiated Pi Kappa member in April at a party which featured “copious amounts” of alcohol and drugs supplied by the fraternity. The lawsuit claims the student was kicked out and several members threatened to kill him if he returned. Later that night, four members broke into the plaintiff’s apartment and “physically beat him to a pulp, leaving him in and out of consciousness” the lawsuit states.

Chapter Advisor Richard Pierce, a vice president at BNC Bank in Charleston, told the fraternity brothers to keep the plaintiff from seeking medical attention or going to the police, the lawsuit claims. It also states two members took the plaintiff from his home and “held him captive for the remainder of the night.” Pierce then called and told the student not to contact law enforcement.

“This is nothing but the product of a custom and culture that’s been created by the national fraternity within this chapter of an ‘Anything Goes’ attitude,” attorney Mark Peper said. He said the lawsuit seeks damages to pay medical bills, but his client also wants the chapter shut down.

Charleston Police did not file charges in the incident, saying the plaintiff was indecisive about seeking them. The investigative report also noted the student had left information out of his account, such as the extent of his actions during the altercation at the party.

College of Charleston said the fraternity could not reorganize for at least two years, until the Fall 2019 semester. Among the conditions include a letter of apology and a listing of what went wrong and how the organization should have acted differently

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