PENN HILLS (KDKA) — Penn Hills Police are investigating hazing complaints involving 12 women pledging the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority at the University of Pittsburgh.
Alpha Kappa Alpha (Iota Chapter) does not have a house on Pitt’s campus. Instead, the hazing incidents reportedly happened twice last week at a home in Penn Hills.
Police would not tell KDKA where that home is, so as not to jeopardize their investigation.
“On Monday evening, we had a mother come into our police station with her daughter and 11 other young ladies who were all pledges for a sorority at Pitt,” said Chief Howard Burton, of the Penn Hills Police Department.
The chief told KDKA the mother wanted to report the ladies being hazed by other women on Feb. 21 and Feb. 23, 2018.
“The mother made accusations that these girls were taken to a house somewhere in Penn Hills and possibly smacked with paddles, something like that,” said Chief Burton.
According to police, the 12 pledges are all 20- or 21-years-old, and none are originally from the Pittsburgh area.
“She came to visit her daughter and noticed some bruising on her arms. When she asked her daughter what happened, that’s when the daughter explained that they came to Penn Hills and were hazed in Penn Hills,” said Chief Burton.
On Wednesday, Pitt’s dean of students sent a letter to the Greek community, announcing the interim suspension of recognition of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and making it clear that hazing is not tolerated.
Where the investigation goes from here is another question that will largely depend on how much information the pledges give to police.
“The girls weren’t too cooperative at the time. Only a couple came forward and basically we are looking at it, investigating to determine what exactly happened in that home,” said Chief Burton.
According to the chief, it seems the mother is the one who insisted on going to police.
“These young ladies are 20- and 21-years-old. They are adults. If they don’t come forward, willing to be victims or say they are victims, there is not much we can do with it,” said Chief Burton.
KDKA reached out to the sorority’s national headquarters in Chicago to see if they have any knowledge of the complaints. We have not heard back.