Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at LMU has been placed under limited operations by its national headquarters while the Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigates hazing allegations, according to members of the Greek community.
The suspension restricts the chapter from taking any new pledges or holding any chapter events, according to Tommy Bennett, president of the InterFraternity Council (IFC) and a junior computer science major. The status of limited operations placed on the fraternity by the national headquarters is supported by LMU, according to Bennett.
Bennett said that DPS is conducting an investigation into hazing allegations involving the fraternity.
The limited operations status bans the fraternity from meeting as a group unless it seeks approval of the University a week in advance. Any such meetings must have a University official present. Additionally, Lambda Chi Alpha is prevented from hosting any philanthropic events.
When asked to comment on his fraternity’s status, Lambda Chi Alpha President Matt Mackaness, a senior marketing major, said: “I do not feel comfortable making any statements about the allegations at this time.”
When asked to confirm the investigation, DPS responded, “LMU DPS cannot confirm whether or not an investigation is underway. To protect individual privacy and the integrity of our investigations, the work of our investigators and the identities of all parties involved are kept confidential.”
According to Bennett, Mackaness is working on a public statement to address the rumors surrounding Lambda Chi Alpha’s lack of a pledge class. However, to be able to release the statement, the chapter must receive confirmation from their national headquarters, Bennett said.
“As of right now, all we know is that it is an internal affair, and [Lambda Chi Alpha is] really not communicating with [IFC] in any way,” said Ian Ayres, head of public relations for IFC. “And that’s not a bad thing, at the end of the day. It does need to be handled internally first, and then they can deal with the public scope of whatever is going on.”
Ayres also stated that he wanted to make it clear that IFC does not condone hazing in any way. Ayres believes that a fraternity’s main goals are brotherhood, accountability and having a shared set of values.
“Hazing just isn’t a part of that, and should never be a part of that, even though it obviously does end up happening sometimes,” said Ayres.
According to Bennett, IFC has programs in place to prevent hazing. All newly initiated men are required to participate in a program called First Year Reaching Excellence, or FYRE. The program discusses men’s mental health, hazing and sexual misconduct.