Butler University’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity welcomed 28 pledges earlier this month after evaluating the status of all undergraduate members last December.
According to chapter president Ryan Medas, “a few” Phi Kappa Psi members were given alumni status the week before final exams last semester following a review process.
Director of Greek life Becky Druetzler said those students are now permitted to take part in only those fraternity events set up for more traditional alumni. The students also were required to move out of the Phi Kappa Psi house if they resided there.
Phi Kappa Psi’s membership review comes on the heels of an ongoing Butler University Police Department investigation.
“I wouldn’t say they’re not related,” national executive director Shawn Collinsworth said. “This was the next step. This was making sure we live up to the standards of Phi Kappa Psi.”
Director of Public Safety Ben Hunter said there was no new information in the case. BUPD is not investigating Phi Kappa Psi.
The fraternity’s national executive council created a supervisory committee of local alumni to scrutinize Butler’s chapter. The committee interviewed and examined each member before deciding on the students’ further involvement with Phi Kappa Psi.
Collinsworth said there was no serious reason for any member to be dropped to alumni status. Changes were made, he said, due to grades, finances, campus activities or issues with fraternity rules.
Chapter advisor Ryan Jones said in an email the adjustment occurred for “various reasons” and would “advance our brotherhood into the current semester, and beyond.”
Butler was not involved in Phi Kappa Psi’s decision to conduct a membership review, nor in the review itself, dean of student life Irene Stevens said.
They’re doing a variety of things to improve the house,” Stevens said, “and we support that.”
Stevens told The Collegian last fall that the university’s order to Phi Kappa Psi to halt all operations meant no social events or activities could be held.
Druetzler said the fraternity’s class of 28 pledges was “about normal for them.”
She also said most national Greek organizations have a similar process for membership review.
“It’s not unheard of,” Druetzler said. “It’s not something that is rare.”
Druetzler said she was not aware of the scope of past membership reviews in her decade at Butler. She said she did not think the alleged criminal incident is what triggered Phi Kappa Psi to do the evaluation.
“There were probably other factors,” Druetzler said. “For any group that would be a reason to stop and look at what’s happening and what needs to occur. Usually with a membership review it’s further reaching than one thing, although one thing may be the tipping point.”
In spite of Phi Kappa Psi’s involvement with recruitment, a cease and desist order remains in effect following the alleged sexual assault that is said to have occurred on the fraternity’s property in September.