(Reuters) - Penn State University on Tuesday said it was withdrawing recognition from a fraternity for three years after members were accused of posting pictures they took of mostly undressed women onto private Facebook pages.
A university investigation found “a persistent series of deeply troubling activities” within the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity, the school said in a statement.
“The organizational misbehaviors is far more than the University can tolerate from a student organization that seeks its imprimatur,” vice president for Student Affairs Damon Sims said.
Sims said instances of physical and emotionally abusive hazing were uncovered during the investigation, including boxing matches set up between pledges, in addition to drug use and sales within the fraternity.
The school’s decision overrode the decision of the student-led Interfraternity Council, which sought for the organization to remain recognized while facing punishments. Sims said not all of the members were equally culpable for the activities.
The fraternity was suspended as of March 3 after the images of the women, who were passed out or sleeping, were uploaded to the social media accounts. The pages had about 150 members including students and alumni, according to media.
Penn State University’s president said in March a re-evaluation of the school’s fraternity system may be needed after the scandal broke.
Cases of racism, hazing, nude photos, vandalism and a death have rocked U.S. college fraternities in recent months, including a University of Oklahoma fraternity that was closed after a video surfaced online in which students chanted about lynchings and used racist epithets.
Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Robert Birsel