North Carolina State University (NCSU) has responded to a series of fraternity scandals on-campus and nationwide by at least temporary banning alcohol at the parties of all ordinary fraternities. However, the ban doesn’t include the handful of historically-black fraternities at the college.
NCSU is the latest in a string of colleges to fall into turmoil over the conduct of fraternity members. At the University of Oklahoma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon was abolished over a racist song sung by freshman members. At the University of Maryland, an offensive email surfaced. At Penn State, members of Kappa Delta Rho are facing possible criminal charges for a Facebook page that allegedly contained nude photos of unconscious women. (RELATED: Penn State Fraternity Latest To Get Shut Down)
At NCSU, however, the problem is a simple notebook.
Pi Kappa Phi has placed itself on indefinite suspension and is being investigated after restaurant workers found what appears to be the fraternity’s pledge book. The book is filled with anonymous handwritten comments, many sexual or racial in nature, such as “Man that tree is so perfect for lynching” or “If she’s old enough to pee, she’s old enough to me.”
Simultaneously, another frat on campus has been suspended over the more typical issues of sexual assault and drug-use allegations.
In response to the growing turmoil, NCSU has announced that it is banning all alcohol at social events for the vast majority of fraternities. A news release by the school attributed the decision to both local scandals as well as “national issues.”
But the ban has one big exception: The school’s historically black fraternities, such as Alpha Phi Alpha, are totally exempt.
The direct reason for the ban is that the new restriction on alcohol only applies to fraternities that are associated with the school’s Interfraternity Council (IFC). The vast majority are, but five historically black organizations are an exception, instead being separately organized under the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
Why was participation in a different governance structure enough to spare the black fraternities from NCSU’s collective punishment? Brad Bohlander, the university’s chief communications officer, told the The Daily Caller News Foundation that the alcohol ban was IFC’s idea in the first place.
“The university agreed to support and partner with the IFC on the temporary cessation of social activities including alcohol for IFC fraternities as a positive step toward working with the Greek community on efforts to put in place measures to better address and elevate expectations for high standards of behavior,” said Bohlander.
The school’s black fraternities certainly aren’t immune from the problems that have drawn unwanted attention to Greek life at NCSU, though. Just five months ago, Phi Beta Sigma, one of the historically black fraternities, was suspended until 2018 due to allegations of hazing in the organization.
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