Indiana University investigating fraternity for assault, alleged anti-Semitic and racist remarks

Indiana University Bloomington placed a cease-and-desist on Pi Kappa Phi while it investigates an assault and alleged derogatory remarks involving members.

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By Sarah Jackson

Indiana university has ordered that one of its fraternities halt all activities while the university investigates a physical assault and alleged discriminatory remarks made at the fraternity house last week.

Indiana University Bloomington placed its chapter of Pi Kappa Phi on a cease-and-desist Saturday, prohibiting members from hosting or participating in organizational activities, the university said in a statement Sunday. The order will remain in effect while the university and law enforcement investigate "an incident involving physical assault, as well as allegations of anti-Semitic and racial slurs."

In addition to the cease-and-desist, the university's Interfraternity Council, the student-run governing body of the school's fraternities, has suspended Pi Kappa Phi's activities.

The Sample Gates on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington.Michael Hickey / Getty Images file

"Indiana University condemns bias or violence in any form and will hold individuals and organizations accountable," the university said in its statement. "Diversity and inclusion are core values that we expect to be shared by all IU students."

The altercation took place at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house on Friday night when members of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity, attempted to enter a party hosted by Pi Kappa Phi, a university spokesperson told NBC News. It's not clear what sort of injuries victims sustained but several people received medical treatment following the altercation.

A spokesperson from the national headquarters of Pi Kappa Phi said in a statement to NBC News that the party was registered with the university.

"An uninvited guest started a physical altercation when Pi Kappa Phi members attempted to remove him and his three friends from the house," the statement said. "At this time, our investigation finds this was not an anti-Semitic incident. Pi Kappa Phi values diversity and inclusion and does not condone violence. Ten percent of the Indiana University Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi identify as Jewish and the event was co-hosted with a Jewish fraternity."

Pi Kappa Phi has already been placed on disciplinary status three times during the 2018-19 academic year for endangering others, failing to comply with the Greek organization agreement and experiencing issues related to alcohol.

In Nov. 2017, the Interfraternity Council enacted a "self-suspension," ordering all social events with alcohol, as well as all unsupervised new member activities, to be stopped for three months in all of the school's fraternities. The self-suspension was lifted in March 2018, at which point "social event limitations" on events with alcohol were put in place. It is unclear whether these limitations were still in place at the time of Friday's incident.

Last month, Syracuse University in New York suspended all fraternity social activities after members of one of its fraternities allegedly used a "verbal racial epithet" against a black student. San Diego State University also suspended 14 of its fraternities in November when a student died after attending a fraternity event and in October, Penn State University suspended a fraternity after a man died in a house allegedly occupied by the fraternity's members.

Indiana University Bloomington's police department is currently investigating the incident in consultation with the Monroe County prosecutor's office and federal partners. The national headquarters of Pi Kappa Phi did not respond to a request for comment.