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UMass Amherst fraternity indicted for hazing, procuring alcohol for a minor

Nearly a year after a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suffered alcohol poisoning, a campus fraternity has been indicted on hazing and alcohol charges, officials said.

The Theta Mu chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity was charged by a Hampshire grand jury this week with two counts of procuring alcohol for a minor, and two counts of hazing, the Northwestern district attorney’s office confirmed Saturday.

The charges stem from an incident that took place during the fall of 2017, which led to a student being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, said Mary Carey, a spokeswoman for the DA’s office.


UMass suspended activities at Theta Mu after the incident was reported to campus police last November. The suspension remains in effect, and officials now will review if the chapter or its members have violated the school’s Code of Student Conduct, a university spokesman said.

“As part of the student conduct process one sanction that will be seriously evaluated is dissolving the university’s recognition of the chapter. In partnership with the national organization, this would equate to revocation of the chapter’s charter, which would permanently strip the local chapter of official recognition,” said Ed Blaguszewski, a UMass spokesman.

Additionally, the university’s Dean of Students will review the conduct of individual students for “possible sanctions under the student code,” he said.

Calls placed to Pi Kappa Alpha’s national headquarters in Tennessee were not immediately returned Saturday night.

If convicted, Theta Mu could face fines of up to $2,000 for each count of procuring alcohol to a minor and up to $3,000 for each hazing count, according to the DA’s office.

An arraignment date in Hampshire Superior Court has not yet been scheduled.

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at sophia.eppolito@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.