Mississippi fraternity suspended one year after pledges were reportedly sprayed in mouths with bleach, cleaning fluid

Published 6:31 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

A University of Mississippi fraternity has been suspended after a result of a year-long investigation into hazing violations.

The Gamma Iota chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has been suspended, effective immediately, until May 1, 2025.

The suspension was passed down from the University in concert with Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity.

The decision was made in response to a hazing incident in the fall of 2020. The hazing incident reportedly took place in October 2020, when bleach or cleaning fluid was sprayed onto blindfolded pledge members. The incident led to charges against James Bowes Higgins, who a pledge said sprayed cleaning fluid into his mouth, causing him to suffer severe burns to his esophagus.

The university released the following statement.

On Nov. 10, the Gamma Iota chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha of the University of Mississippi was notified by Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity that its charter was suspended.

Working in concert with Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, the university’s Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct suspended all operations of the Gamma Iota chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha of the University of Mississippi with immediate effect until May 1, 2025.

This decision follows an investigation that uncovered acts of hazing. The international fraternity and university arrived at this decision together following a joint inquiry into the incidents.

Hazing and related behavior that puts student health and safety at risk are contrary to the University of Mississippi Creed and will not be tolerated.