The fraternity Phi Gamma Delta is banned for at least five years from official recognition by California State University, Fresno as a result of alcohol-related violations of university policy, the Division of Student Affairs announced today.

The fraternity has been on university suspension since October because of the violations. After one incident at the off-campus fraternity house, a former student died of alcohol poisoning.

Dr. Carolyn Coon, executive director of Student Life in the Division of Student Affairs, announced the decision after the fraternity leadership was notified of the loss of recognition and four other sanctions this morning.

Loss of recognition is the second most severe sanction the university can administer. A lifetime ban is the most severe sanction. Loss of recognition means the fraternity:

Cannot represent itself as being affiliated with the university.

Cannot recruit members under the fraternity name.

Cannot apply for nor receive student funding from the university.

Cannot have access to campus facilities or participate in university activities (such as intramural sports, Vintage Days, etc).

In addition to the loss of recognition, the four other sanctions are:

If granted recognition after five years, the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity must permanently remain alcohol free.

Effective spring 2011, the necessary and appropriate applications to establish the fraternity as a recognized organization will be accepted. Any misbehavior occurring at the residence during the interim period will be considered in deciding whether to grant recognition at that time.

Phi Gamma Delta may not reorganize as a student club or organization at California State University, Fresno as a means of circumventing the chapter’s loss of recognition

The university will request that the Phi Gamma Delta national fraternity extend its current temporary suspension of the Phi Chi chapter’s charter through January 2011.

On Jan. 18, the university was notified by J. B. Goll, the Lexington, Ky.-based fraternity’s director of Chapter Services, that the national organization “voted to temporarily suspend the charter of the Phi Chi Chapter at California State University – Fresno … until an investigation is completed regarding the risk management violations.”

The university’s sanctions are effective immediately. However the chapter may file an appeal with Dr. Paul Oliaro, vice president of student affairs and dean of students. The chapter has until 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, to appeal.

“We made sure we had all the facts available before we proceeded,” Coon said. “This is the most serious sanction we can impose on an organization, short of a lifetime ban, and is intended to serve notice we will not tolerate this kind of behavior.”

Coon cited an incident in October involving underage drinking and a Jan. 7 party, the night before former student Danny Daniels was found dead from acute alcohol poisoning in Phi Gamma Delta’s off-campus fraternity house.

She again expressed the university community’s sorrow and condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Daniels, who was 19.

Mr. Daniels had attended Fresno State in the 2004-05 school year as a music major and was a member of the Bulldog Marching Band that year. However, he was not a student last fall or this spring semester.

The Student Affairs Division conducted a review of the incidents surrounding Mr. Daniel’s death at the fraternity house using reports from the Fresno County Coroner’s Office and the Fresno Police Department as well as information provided by members of the fraternity, also known as Fiji.

Coon said the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity has been on suspension status since October for violation of university policies during the fall semester. That incident, related to allegations of underage drinking occurring at a Fiji party in October, still was being reviewed at winter break in mid-December and final action had been expected when the spring semester resumed last week. The tragedy two weeks ago was added to the review.

The Phi Gamma Delta fraternity has had a series of discipline measures in recent years. In 2003 it was placed on probation for three semesters for alcohol violations and successfully completed the terms of that sanction in January 2005.

Coon said Fresno State cannot tolerate student organizations that disregard university sanctions and create conditions that can affect the health and safety of others.

“In this case, the fraternity was already under suspension and apparently that sanction was not sufficient to motivate them to ensure that underage and excessive drinking of alcohol not occur in their house,” Coon said.