AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A Hampshire Grand Jury has indicted the Theta Mu chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in Amherst for hazing and supplying alcohol to a minor.
Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Mary Carey told 22News the charges are in connection with a fall 2017 incident in which a UMass Amherst student was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning.
The chapter is being charged as a corporate entity. Each count of procuring alcohol for a minor is punishable by a fine up to $2,000, while each count of hazing is punishable by a fine up to $3,000.
UMass sent 22News a statement that reads, in part…
“UMass condemns hazing by fraternities … The behavior by the Theta Mu chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity as alleged in the indictment is deeply disturbing.”
22News went to the Pi Kappa Alpha house on North Pleasant Street to speak with members of the fraternity, and although there were multiple cars in the driveway, no one answered the door.
One UMass senior told 22News hazing used to be considered a joke, but lately it has gotten more serious.
“You can’t be making people drink till they pass out or put anyone in harms way,” said Michael Konjoian. “There is a line in today’s world and some people cross that line.”
The university is currently evaluating whether to terminate their recognition of the chapter.
An arraignment date in Hampshire Superior Court has yet to be scheduled.