OSU fraternity suspended

Alpha Gamma Rho gone for next five years

Due to hazing allegations, disciplinary hearings were held against Oregon State University fraternity Alpha Gamma Rho resulting in their suspension for the next five years.

Alpha Gamma Rho, otherwise known as AGR, has been on campus since its chartering in 1924, making it one of the oldest fraternities on campus.

Until the suspension, OSU was the only school in the state of Oregon to have an AGR chapter, according to the AGR national website.

The Interfraternity Council Hazing Guidelines define hazing as anything intentionally done on or off fraternity property that induces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule.

Actions that fall under the definition includes, but is not limited to, binge-drinking, scavenger hunts, creation of physical or psychological shock or fatigue and engaging in public stunts or buffoonery.

Alec Petersen, president of the IFC declined to comment on the fraternity’s suspension as did the office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and the Center of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

OSU Vice President of University Relations and Marketing, Steve Clark, has been handling all inquiries about AGR’s suspension.

According to Clark, the allegations against AGR were hazing and harassment-related incidents which often occurred during new member initiation periods over the last several years.

“The findings of the investigation indicates that these types of activities have been occurring since at least 2012,” Clark said.

AGR was accused of violating university policy by having new members drink volumes of alcohol and keeping members in loud rooms, Clark said.

The allegations were brought to the attention of the university earlier this year with the official investigation being launched by the Student Conduct and Community Standards on February 11. Subsequently, the fraternity was put on an interim suspension throughout the duration of the investigation.

An outside investigator was also hired to look into the matter in conjunction with OSU’s own investigation. The investigator interviewed 17 members of AGR, all of whom corroborated the allegations.

AGR had a hearing with the Student Conduct Committee on April 15 and was found responsible of the hazing and harassment that took place at the chapter house.

Two weeks later, on April 27, the fraternity was notified of their suspension which was effective immediately until spring term of 2021, at which point the fraternity will be allowed to apply for reinstatement as a voluntary student organization, Clark said.

While under suspension AGR is no longer allowed to participate in activities with the Center of Fraternity and Sorority Life and IFC, including rush.

Additionally, the fraternity is not allowed to be a part of the Affiliated Housing Program, hold chapter meetings or initiate new members.

After their suspension is over, AGR will be on probation for another two years and their probation will be lifted in the spring of 2023.

Members will not be allowed to have alcohol in the chapter house, will have to complete a one-year training program about hazing and harassment, complete a wellness program about alcohol and adhere to all OSU and national fraternity guidelines.

In a statement released by the university, it was reported that members of the fraternity complied with the university and admitted to the hazing and harassment.

“Many chapter leaders and AGR fraternity members—when questioned in the investigation—did not deny these allegations and admitted that such activities are wrong,” the statement read.

The fraternity has until today to appeal the sanctions made by the university, as per Student Conduct and Community Standards protocol. The protocol allows 15 calendar days from the day of notice for suspended organizations to draft an appeal.

Should AGR choose to appeal, the imposition of the suspension will be put on hold until after the appeal process is completed, according to Student Conduct and Community Standards protocol and Offenses webpage.

The transgressions, according to Clark, do not reflect what Greek life is about, and that the school, as well as the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life work hard to provide leadership, community service and philanthropy opportunities for members of Greek life to better the OSU community.

“We don’t expect the organizations to conduct themselves or organize to put people in unsafe circumstances. That’s not why OSU has student organizations. That’s not why any sorority or fraternity exists.” Clark said.

According to AGR’s Director of Chapter Expansion Grant Bargfrede, AGR’s home office is in the process of writing a statement regarding the incidents and suspension.

The statement was not published by the time of print

The last fraternity to be suspended on the grounds of hazing-related incidents was the Chi Phi fraternity at the end of last year. The fraternity was also found responsible of providing alcohol to minors, Clark said.

[email protected]