The Duke chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi officially disbanded Friday, when all but one member resigned after the co-ed business fraternity was put on probation this summer.
The national AKPsi organization put Duke’s chapter on probation in May due to alcohol and hazing violations—implementing several probationary terms including increased fees and additional policies. These terms caused all but one unnamed member to drop out. After most of the remaining members officially resigned Friday, AKPsi was formally disbanded on Duke’s campus, leaving the status of the 41-member residential house in question.
“They resigned because they were put on probation,” said Brian Parker, managing director of operations for the national AKPsi organization. “The students were not willing to put in the work to change the culture and their behavior.”
The national AKPsi organization began an investigation last Spring when Duke’s chapter listed alcohol on a budget sent to the national headquarters. Purchasing alcohol using chapter funds is against AKPsi policy. As part of the investigation, AKPsi sent representatives to interview Duke’s members.
“It all came out in the interview process,” Parker said. “We discovered alcohol and hazing violations…. It was mental hazing, as well as forced physical activity—like exercises and calisthenics.”
Sophomore Ryan Bartoszek, a former AKPsi member, said he had no knowledge of the drinking violations or hazing.
The fraternity was notified of its probation a few weeks after the end of the school year, and their probationary terms included doubled dues, doubled insurance premiums, required attendance numbers at certain conferences, along with two more pages of stipulations, Bartoszek noted.
“When we got back to Duke, we came together as an [executive] board and decided that the probationary terms would have hampered our ability to develop business leaders, which was the point of the fraternity,” Bartoszek said.
The members’ resignations have not only affected their extra-curricular involvement but also their housing. Previously, AKPsi was an affiliated house in Craven Quadrangle, housing 41 people. Housing, Dining and Residence Life will conduct a formal review next week to assess whether or not the house can remain a selective living group, Dean for Residential Life Joe Gonzalez said. If AKPsi can no longer be deemed an SLG, Craven House C will become an unaffiliated house, though its members might not have to move.
“We will not force people to move unless there are community issues that would require them to move—vandalism, conduct issues, etc,” Gonzalez wrote in an email Wednesday.
Regardless of the former members’ decisions to resign, AKPsi plans to return to Duke in the near future.
The chapter needed at least five members to keep its affiliation, Parker said. The single student who chose not to resign—along with those studying abroad this semester and therefore not currently on the roster—will now have alumni status and will have the choice to rejoin when AKPsi decides to recruit and build a new chapter at Duke.
When exactly AKPsi will return, however, has yet to be decided. It could be as early as next Fall, but the national organization has to work out a plan with University administrators. In the meantime, some former members have created a business club called Scale and Coin, separate from AKPsi.
“They were a successful chapter until this,” Parker said. “It’s unfortunate that they weren’t living by the values of AKPsi, but we will come back and continue with the right group of people.”