A fraternity chapter at the University of Michigan has been suspended after semi-nude photos of men posing with U.S. flags as part of a party invitation circulated online.
Pi Kappa Alpha announced Tuesday it placed the Ann Arbor school's Beta Tau chapter on interim suspension.
The national chapter of the fraternity has released the following statement by Executive Vice President Justin A. Buck:
"The Supreme Council of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity has placed the Beta Tau Chapter at The University of Michigan on interim suspension, effective immediately, due to members displaying inappropriate and offensive photos as well as making claims which are in violation of Fraternity Standards."
"I am thoroughly disappointed in the choices made by the Beta Tau Chapter members and regret any issues this has caused the Michigan Greek Community," stated Executive Vice President Buck. "Countless undergraduate and alumni members throughout our organization have contacted the office voicing their displeasure and the Fraternity is taking this situation very seriously. Pi Kappa Alpha does not condone this behavior, the image it portrays, or the claims which have been made by the Chapter."
"Clearly, these actions are neither in line with Pi Kappa Alpha's values nor those of The University of Michigan. The Fraternity's staff is committed to working with the university and the Interfraternity Council to implement appropriate punitive and educational conditions for the chapter. Failure to comply with this indefinite suspension or the subsequent conditions may result in additional action, including charter suspension."
Beta Tau chapter President Ryan Lee released the following statement to 7 Action News:
The Beta Tau Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha accepts full responsibility for the material that has surfaced and sincerely apologizes to all those who were disrespected and offended. The Chapter fully recognizes that its oversight has led to many unintended consequences that have left its original intentions misconstrued. Granted with the primary duty of upholding the Fraternity's immense level of respect and appreciation for our nation's symbols and protectors, we acknowledge the negative impact on the outside community our actions have afflicted.
The primary goal of the Chapter is to mold college students into scholars, leaders, athletes, and gentlemen. Our chapter's recent actions fail to promote these ideals. In response to the incident, those involved are being handled administratively to set the precedent that members acting in a manner unbecoming of Pi Kappa Alpha and the University of Michigan must and will be held accountable for their actions.
Beta Tau is currently doing everything in its power to eradicate its wrongdoings and to repair the damage that has been caused to the various groups within our community.
One picture of a group of men and an accompanying email about a party appeared to be intended for members of a sorority. Other photos showed individual men with smaller U.S. flags.
The Michigan Daily and AnnArbor.com report the Interfraternity Council is investigating. The school's Office of Greek Life also is involved.