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UA FIJI chapter closed, house being converted into student housing

%09The+Phi+Gamma+Delta+house+has+been+converted+into+student+housing+for+the+upcoming+school+year+after+the+fraternity+was+placed+on+interim+suspension+by+the+UA.+FIJI%26%238217%3Bs+international+leadership+has+closed+the+UA%26%238217%3Bs+chapter+while+a+decision+is+made+over+whether+to+revoke+the+fraternity%26%238217%3Bs+charter.+
Rebecca Marie Sasnett

The Phi Gamma Delta house has been converted into student housing for the upcoming school year after the fraternity was placed on interim suspension by the UA. FIJI’s international leadership has closed the UA’s chapter while a decision is made over whether to revoke the fraternity’s charter.

The FIJI fraternity house, located on First Street, previously occupied by the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, is being converted into a residence hall that will be known as Rawls/Eller Lodge and will house 64 UA students beginning the upcoming fall semester.

The UA FIJI chapter is being closed until international leaders have decided whether or not to officially revoke the fraternity’s charter, Bill Martin, executive director of Phi Gamma Delta, told local news outlets on Tuesday.

Johanne Ives, director of Fraternity and Sorority Programs, said that FIJI’s interim suspension status has not changed with the UA. There has been no announcement yet from the international office of a final decision regarding FIJI’s status.

The corporation that is financially responsible for the house most likely decided to partner with UA Residence Life, rather than the UA chapter of FIJI, to ensure the house would be occupied in the upcoming year, Ives said.

“Even if the university chooses to change that interim action from suspension … [the corporation is] not interested in moving forward with this current group of collegiate members that was going to move into the house,” Ives said.

Jennifer Hiatt, executive director of UA Residence Life, said that Residence Life has been in talks with FIJI for the past few weeks about converting the house into a residence hall after the fraternity was placed under interim suspension. Hiatt said the ongoing investigation is related to the fraternity’s choice to leave campus.

Though there was no available on-campus housing, residence life did reach out to the members of FIJI and offered them help finding a place to live, Hiatt said. The members of FIJI who were living in the house have had no trouble quickly finding off-campus housing, she said.

Residence Life has sent an email to all students waiting on on-campus housing, informing them of the new space, Hiatt said. All students have an equal opportunity to apply to live in the space, she said.

UA officials placed FIJI under interim suspension following allegations from the University of Arizona Police Department’s investigation into the death of Michael Anderson, 19, who fell to his death in April while intoxicated.

Following his death, UAPD investigated the fraternity to see if Anderson was in attendance of an unregistered party at the house the night before his death. During this investigation, UAPD found evidence of alcohol being served to minors, drug use in the house and attempts to interfere with the police investigation. The Dean of Students Office determined that FIJI posed a “substantial risk to the university community.”

Kendal Washington White, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students, previously said she expects the DOS to make a decision on the status of FIJI’s recognition before the beginning of the fall semester.

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