The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity chapter at the University of Tennessee has been officially suspended after 12 of its male students were cited for underage drinking and one for disorderly conduct. The suspension as well as the citation came after a weekend incident involving alcohol enemas in which one student was hospitalized, a university spokeswoman told reporters.
"Upon extensive questioning, it is believed that members of the fraternity were using rubber tubing inserted into their rectums as a conduit for alcohol as the abundance of capillaries and blood vessels present greatly heightens the level and speed of the alcohol entering the bloodstream as it bypasses the filtering by the liver," Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk said Monday in a statement.
While the unidentified student who was taken to the UT Medical Center in critical condition with a blood alcohol level of 0.40 -- five times the legal cutoff for driving, has been released, his parents said their son denies involvement in the activity described by the police spokesman.
Police spokesman DeBusk told reporters that he was standing by his account.
"It was information gathered through the course of our investigation, which has now been turned over to the UT Police Department," he said.
While investigating the scene of the incident, police found tubing and materials used to give alcohol enemas. At least one witness who was at the fraternity house told police that the student who was taken to hospital had received the alcohol enema, CNN reported.
Spokeswoman Karen Simsen said that hazing does not appear to have been involved. "It's just an incident involving alcohol," she said.
The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity released a statement saying that it had administratively suspended the school's Zeta Chapter and was investigating the incident, which occurred early Saturday.
"The recent allegations against these individuals have come as a complete shock to The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, its 15,000 undergraduate members and over 200,000 living alumni, family and friends," the statement said. "Pi Kappa Alpha's mission is to develop men of integrity, intellect and high moral character and to foster a truly lifelong fraternal experience. These alleged activities are clearly not consistent with that mission, nor are they representative of what the fraternity would expect from any of its members."
The suspension will last for 30 days or until a decision is made regarding the long-term status of the chapter, according to the fraternity’s front office.
Statistics from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, obtained by CNN, indicate that 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.