Two-year Phi Psi suspension upheld after appeal

Erin Snodgrass

Phi Kappa Psi fraternity’s two-year suspension has been upheld by the University Board of Appeals. The appeal took place on Tuesday, Dec. 5 after the fraternity was suspended for two years on Nov. 15 due to hazing charges.

Diana Ward, chief student conduct officer and Title IX deputy, said Loyola’s chapter of Phi Psi was found responsible for violating the university’s anti-hazing policy.

According to Section 4 of the discipline policies and procedures, “Once the appellate process has been completed, whether through an appellate decision or the expiration of time to file an appeal, the outcome is final and all sanctions go immediately into effect.”

“It is important to note that the investigation did not produce a finding related to a violation of the university’s drugs or alcohol policy,” Ward said.

An appeal must be based on one of four reasons: bias, new evidence, disregard for rights or inappropriateness of the sanction. Phi Psi based their appeal on inappropriateness of the sanction.

Hugh Lynch, Phi Psi President at the time of the suspension, said the organization is not seeking a second appeal.

“The university is denying several requests to mitigate the sanctions against an organization with 25 years of excellence and involvement at Loyola,” Lynch said.

According to the university anti-hazing policy, hazing is defined as “any action or situation which includes any mental or physical requirement, request, or obligation placed upon any person (pledge, new member, associate member, member, affiliate, guest) which could cause discomfort, pain, fright, disgrace, injury, or which is personally degrading or which violates any federal, state, local statute, or university policy.”

Garret Walton, marketing and communications manager for the national Phi Psi fraternity said the national organization supports the suspension of the Loyola chapter.

“We will continue to work with the university over the course of the suspension to ensure a return to campus with a chapter in line with the standards and expectations of both Phi Kappa Psi and Loyola University,” Walton said in an email.

Emily Pualwan, executive director of, said although alcohol is one of the most dangerous factors in hazing-relating incidents, many hazing cases do not involve alcohol.

According to Pualwan, hazing can take a variety of forms and has a long lasting effect whether the hazing was psychological or physical in nature. Some psychological and emotional effects of hazing on new members can be withdrawal from the group, academic and grade decline and dropping out of classes.

The University Board of Appeals, the body that upheld the suspension, is made up of four students appointed by SGA, four faculty members appointed by Faculty Senate and four members appointed by the vice president for student affairs and the associate provost, according to university discipline policies and procedures.

The appeal was heard by three members of the board.

Ward said the university is committed to fostering an environment where all community members feel safe.

“The Office of Student Affairs will continue to work with the Department of Student Involvement to provide further education and training to students on issues such as hazing, and we will hold all students and student organizations accountable for violations of the Student Code of Conduct or other policies,” Ward said.

Pualwan said with the increase of hazing cases and tragedies in the news, universities are reacting swiftly when hazing occurs.

“Schools are doing whatever they deem necessary and appropriate to keep their student body safe. We see this as a good thing,” Pualwan said.

As the suspension stands, current sophomores will be the only members eligible to restart the fraternity on Loyola’s campus, after the two year suspension. New members had not yet been initiated before the suspension took place.

According to Ward, members of Greek life and all staff, faculty and students have a responsibility to treat fellow members of the university community with dignity.

“We must show our compassion through a commitment to being people with and for others,” Ward said.

Seán Brennan contributed to this report.