UMass Amherst fraternities continue to face suspensions in light of misconduct

Photo Courtesy of masslive.com ||  UMass Amherst fraternities have faced suspensions after altercations and misconduct at parties this semester.  

Photo Courtesy of masslive.com || UMass Amherst fraternities have faced suspensions after altercations and misconduct at parties this semester.  

Raleigh Williams ‘20
Contributing Writer

In September, Diovanni Aquino, a student that does not attend UMass Amherst, left Phi Sigma Kappa, a frat on UMass Amherst’s campus following an altercation that went far beyond the norm for fraternity party. According to reports, a disagreement that turned violent broke out at the end of the night at the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. 

During the fight, Aquino was allegedly tackled to the ground and had the better part of his cartilage bitten off. Since his attack, Aquino has made the decision to press charges against his attackers. 

This attack, however, has not been the only incident on UMass Amherst campus, as another fraternity also faces a suspension following an unknown incident. These events present a larger issue on the campus about the systemic problems that plague fraternities on campus. 

UMass Amherst has recently underdone intense scrutiny for the code of conduct of its fraternity members; despite this, there have not been any disbandment of fraternities that have been the location for such altercations. 

While the school has not yet disclosed what led to the suspension of Theta Chi during a house party in September, it warranted the same response as the fraternity where the incident involving Aquino attack took place. 

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian reported that Theta Chi has been reinstated, and that the members would engage in a series of workshops spanning fire safety, event planning and management and bystander intervention. 

A decision for Phi Sigma Kappa’s fate, however, has not yet been reached. External forces, including the charges filed by Aquino and his family, and other voices speaking out publicly against the fraternity have casted doubts about the possibility for a lift of the fraternity’s suspension. 

In a Facebook post written in September, Diovanni Aquino recounted his story. He claims that he was protecting a friend and he was attacked by three individuals. Aquino finishes his account with the promise that he intends to press charges against these individuals. There have been 220 shares of this post. 

Aquino, a non-UMass student from Easthampton, condemned the violence that fraternities often facilitate. He spoked about the issue further to The Amherst Wire. 

Michael Wiseman of the UMass Student Organization Resource Center commented to The Wire, “We can go several years without anyone being on some type of suspension and then we get into a little streak … Probably from your investigation you can maybe say we’re on a little streak here.”

As UMass Amherst continues to face issues regarding the code of conduct of their fraternities, concerns for the larger, systemic problems question the presence of fraternities on campus and if any changes should be established.