Phi Kappa Theta fraternity booted from campus after alcohol violations


Phi Kappa Theta’s former fraternity house on Hardy Avenue. The fraternity’s Greek letters had already been removed from the building by Sunday.

by Will Fritz, News Editor

San Diego State’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity was removed from campus last week.

The fraternity’s national leadership said in a statement that the California Phi Iota chapter at SDSU was notified Nov. 6 that its charter was being revoked.

“The fraternity board reviewed and discussed the chapter’s behavior over the last few years and determined that the chapter’s culture no longer aligns with the fraternity,” the statement said.

Fraternity leadership said the charter would be revoked for no less than five years.

“This unanimous decision was difficult yet necessary,” said national Phi Kappa Theta President Adrian Gonzalez. “Our intention is to use this process as a means to continue our board’s long-term vision of supporting chapters aligned with our mission, vision and values.”

However, SDSU officials have determined a longer period of expulsion for the Catholic fraternity, which was placed on suspension in abeyance in January. Members were told any further policy violations would result in expulsion.

“Allegations of violation of the alcohol policy by the fraternity were reported in September, which necessitated further action,” said a statement from SDSU Media Relations Officer Cory Marshall. “SDSU has determined expulsion of the fraternity for a minimum of seven years. Any further activity in the name of Phi Kappa Theta at SDSU is unsanctioned by both the university and national fraternity.”

Phi Kappa Theta member and Associated Students Vice President for University Affairs Chris Thomas said the September violation report arose after a student who was taken to a hospital for alcohol poisoning, as well as a friend of the student, reported being at a Phi Kappa Theta party.

“No other evidence was found to prove the fraternity guilty,” Thomas said in an email. “Furthermore, the university found us guilty on what they call a ‘preponderance of evidence’ and proceeded to pull our charter.”

Thomas said he disagrees with the national fraternity’s statements about the SDSU chapter’s culture.

Phi Kappa Theta’s Greek letters had already been removed from its chapter house on Hardy Avenue by Sunday.

The house was being rented from Aztec Shops by the fraternity, and will now go back to being maintained by Aztec Shops, Marshall said.

This is not the first time the fraternity has been removed from campus.

In 2003, Phi Kappa Theta’s charter was revoked by its national organization after a man living in its apartments was arrested for selling marijuana.

The fraternity returned to campus just over a year later in October 2004 when the national organization reinstated its charter and SDSU’s Interfraternity Council voted to allow it to begin operations on campus again.

“People know Phi Kap and they know the name,” the SDSU chapter’s vice president told The Daily Aztec at the time. “Maybe now it will have a better connotation. It is all in the past, and this is a new page in the chapter.”

Phi Kappa Theta was also placed on interim suspension in 2012 after 20-year-old Barzeen Barzanji was found dead at the chapter house.

Barzanji, who was president of another fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, was later determined to have overdosed on  alprazolam — better known as Xanax — and oxycodone.

The fraternity was later absolved of responsibility for Barzanji’s death after an investigation.

This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 with comments from Phi Kappa Theta SDSU chapter representatives and additional information from SDSU Media Relations Officer Cory Marshall.

A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Barzeen Barzanji’s last name. The error has since been corrected.