Ten days before a fraternity member reportedly received an alcohol enema that sent him to the hospital, University of Tennessee officials had met with leaders of the Greek community to review rules concerning drinking on campus.
"It's very disconcerting that it happened so soon after that meeting," said W. Timothy Rogers, vice chancellor for student life. "We are a dry campus, but I'm not naive enough to think it won't go on."
Rogers said a trio of investigations by the University of Tennessee Police Department, the Pi Kappa Alpha national office and the UT Office of Student Judicial Affairs are under way into the Sept. 22 incident.
"We will be conducting our own investigation now that the reports are in," Rogers said. "Those who were cited will certainly have their cases reviewed."
Asked about possible permanent suspension of the Zeta Chapter and administrative punishment for involved students, Rogers said he did not want "to prejudge these cases based on the reports."
In the meantime, the Pi Kappa Alpha national office in Memphis has suspended the local Zeta Chapter for 30 days pending the outcome of its investigation.
Rogers said UT has indefinitely suspended the Zeta Chapter.
The chapter's suspension means members cannot engage in any fraternity activities and can't have nonmembers in its house unless they are students participating in a meal plan.
A letter dated Tuesday alerting the fraternity of the suspension by UT also warns against retaliatory acts. The letter notes any perceived retaliation by fraternity members will generate action by law enforcement and/or the university.
Rogers emphasized that the alleged actions this past weekend do not exemplify the values of Pi Kappa Alpha.
"This is not representative of the fraternity as a whole," he said. "The members are absolutely devastated."
He said the Zeta Chapter is more about doing mission work and its members now feel their reputation has been tarnished.
University officials called a news conference for Rogers to explain how the Sept. 22 report of "butt-chugging" at the Pi Kappa Alpha house on Fraternity Drive had given the institution "a black eye." The news conference was attended by local media outlets and a crew from CNN.
"This in some ways has tarnished the entire university community," Rogers said. "We feel we've got a black eye."
Rogers said he has fielded phone calls from parents of students in the fraternity and from parents of students not associated with the organization because of national exposure the incident has garnered.
One of the goals of UT is to alter what Rogers called "social norming" among students. He said administrators are trying to deliver the message that, "Your buddy is not drinking near as much as you think he does, so you don't need to keep up."
Rogers said he was unsure of the focus of the continuing UTPD probe. UT Police Chief Troy Lane has not returned phone calls seeking comment.
Police at 1:15 a.m. Sept. 22 learned about the reported "butt-chugging" enemas involving wine after 20-year-old Alexander P. Broughton was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center suffering from severe alcohol poisoning. Authorities said Broughton's blood/alcohol level was in excess of 0.40 percent, a near fatal concentration level.
Subsequent investigation that same morning by UTPD officers resulted in 12 citations of underage drinking at the Pi Kappa Alpha house.
Broughton of Memphis has since recovered and returned to classes.