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Another CSUN fraternity being investigated for possible hazing

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at CSUN is being investigated for possible hazing

School officials said late Thursday that a fraternity at Cal State Northridge was under investigation for possible hazing, months after a pledge at a different Greek organization died during a mandatory hike.

In a letter posted by school newspaper the Daily Sundial, William Watkins, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, told sorority and fraternity presidents that the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity was being investigated for possible hazing.

The news comes months after CSUN student Armando Villa, 19, died during what administrators concluded was a hazing incident while he pledged to a different fraternity. The dehydrated Pi Kappa Phi pledge died July 1 during a mandatory hike for students hoping to join the fraternity.

All pledging activity at Cal State Northridge was immediately suspended Thursday.

"It is my unfortunate duty to notify you that the university has learned of yet another instance of possible hazing," Watkins wrote in the letter dated Thursday. "I am directing that all pledge activities immediately cease and desist."

The Zeta Omicron chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was placed on interim suspension pending the outcome of the university's investigation, which has yet to be completed.

The fraternity was also placed on administrative suspension by its national headquarters, Watkins said. 

The school's fraternities and sororities were warned that they would be immediately suspended and subject to removal proceedings if they continued pledging activities. Pledges can still be inducted, but they shall not be subjected to any further pledge activity, the school said.

The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity voted to shut down the CSUN chapter after Villa's death. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is expected to conclude a criminal investigation into the death.

School President Dianne F. Harrison was expected to address the leaders of CSUN's Greek system to discuss the university's expectations and intent to end hazing.

"It is shocking and disappointing that this conduct persists after all the efforts undertaken by so many this fall to ensure a recruitment and intake process that conforms to the university's zero tolerance policy on hazing," Watkins said.

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