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Problems with TCU frat surfaced in the spring, national office says

The Sigma Nu fraternity occupies the house formerly occupied by the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity.
The Sigma Nu fraternity occupies the house formerly occupied by the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. kbouaphanh@star-telegram.com

Most of the problems with TCU’s now-shuttered Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity —including reports of drug dealing and possession of guns — happened during the spring semester, the fraternity’s national executive director said Thursday.

TCU administrators announced Wednesday that the Beta Theta chapter of the fraternity had been shut down.

Timothy Schug of the national office said his office received notice from the university in the spring about chapter members dealing drugs. TCU also reported to the fraternity’s national office that a member had been caught illegally possessing a gun in a dorm room.

Schug said the fraternity had already begun its own disciplinary process, but its national board voted in July to close the chapter.

A report on Wednesday by TCU360, the campus student news website, revealed a portion of an email written to chapter members by president Clayton Reis.

“We had our former CRA, living in the frat house, in possession of drugs, guns, and alcohol,” Reis wrote, referring to the chapter’s resident assistant.

“We had multiple Phi Kaps dealing drugs, including a member in the house dealing some extremely hard drugs.

“We had a gulf shores spring break video produced by members of PC15 that went public on the internet and was posted on TCU fb wall that showed our members and other students raging like no tomorrow.

“We were caught drinking in the chapter room during candlelight for the seniors.

“And we have been caught hazing 2 out of the last three years among other violations with the school and nationals.”

Schug said those details were consistent with reports that the Phi Kappa Sigma national office received, but he doesn’t believe the problems were widespread.

“I wouldn’t say that the organization itself was pushing the limit,” he said. “I think it was individuals who did not recognize that membership in an organization draws attention to that organization.”

In an email to the Star-Telegram on Thursday, Reis said it was “very unfortunate that the mistakes and actions of a few of our members” resulted in the chapter’s removal.

“Our procedure for dealing with any members who did not uphold the values of the fraternity has always been to investigate internally and then take the necessary disciplinary action including immediate removal from the organization,” Reis wrote. “We are terribly upset that we were unable to continue this process in order to continue the longstanding tradition of Phi Kappa Sigma at TCU.”

Schug said fraternity chapters typically may return to campuses within three semesters to five years.

Gerald Ewbanks, the TCU chapter’s adviser, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday, but he told TCU 360 that he hoped the chapter would be reinstated by 2018.

TCU kicked Phi Kappa Sigma out of university housing in 2008 for similar violations. The chapter returned the next year.

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