The sorority Alpha Upsilon Pi is no longer recognized by Manhattan College.
The college made the decision to cut ties with the organization soon after the close of the Spring 2017 semester, following an investigation into alleged hazing.
“There is no longer any connection between Manhattan College and A.Y.Pi.,” said senior Allison Ready, the sorority’s public relations chair. Ready spoke to The Quadrangle over the phone.
The sorority had had an active chapter – the Beta chapter – at the college since 1984. Manhattan’s chapter was the only active chapter of Alpha Upsilon Pi.
Alpha Upsilon Pi’s leadership team – including two student leaders and its former faculty advisor, Alicia Mullaley, Ph.D., were notified of the decision by email on Jun. 7, according to Director of Student Engagement John Bennett, who oversees all club activity, including Greek life.
Bennett said the decision was made following an investigation into hazing that was carried out by the public safety department and the Dean of Students’ office. All three offices were then involved in selecting which sanction the sorority would receive.
Bennett also said that multiple student reports had triggered the investigation, and that this investigation was not the first time his office has had to look into hazing within Alpha Upsilon Pi.
The college’s student code of conduct employs the New York State definition of hazing, which defines it as a crime, “when, in the course of another person’s initiation into or affiliation with any organization, he or she intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury.”
The code also lists a few examples of hazing including, “paddling in any form, creation of excessive fatigue, physical and psychological shocks, morally degrading or humiliating games or activities, late (post-midnight) work sessions that interfere with scholastic activities and any other activities not consistent with the policies and regulations at Manhattan College.”
The code calls for sanctions of suspension, club charter probation or club charter revocation.
“Considering other sanctions that are possible, such as judicial, things that affect the transcripts and class standing and [financial repercussions], what was handed down is probably the best case scenario,” Bennett said.
Neither Public Safety nor the Office of the Dean of Students could comment on the details of the investigation or the specifics of Alpha Upsilon Pi’s violation.
“From what I know, all of the accusations that have been made are false,” Ready said.
Ready said the sorority was caught by surprise by the college’s decision.
“This came as a complete shock to all of us. Like a complete shock. Like out of nowhere,” Ready said.
Other Greek life organizations were also caught off guard by the decision.
“To hear that the sorority isn’t going to be back next year, on campus, you know, it’s disappointing,” said senior Cameron Cullen, who is the president Manhattan’s chapter of the fraternity Alpha Phi Delta.
Cullen said his fraternity does not practice hazing, and did not foresee any change in his fraternity’s policy in the wake of the college’s decision on Alpha Upsilon Pi.
“I think if we did involve hazing on campus, [Alpha Phi Delta] would be shut down immediately,” Cullen said. “I just don’t think that with hazing here… there’s no room for it. It’s unacceptable. And I wouldn’t have pledged something like that.”
Alpha Upsilon Pi plans to continue operating as a group on campus, even without the college’s formal recognition.
“It’s nothing that is going to make us go away,” Ready said. “We’re still going to function as a group.”