Fraternity caught with pants down
Chico Greeks received another blow to the system after university officials discovered that a local fraternity took part in the making of a skin flick.
Phi Kappa Tau was suspended by Chico State University and its national chapter last week after school officials discovered that a hardcore pornographic video was filmed at the West Fifth Street fraternity house.
At this point, it doesn’t appear that any specific fraternity bylaws have been violated, said Steve Hartman, chief executive officer for Phi Kappa Tau. Hartman is working with the university to conduct an examination of the fraternity before further action is taken.
“Whenever there’s a situation like this, it’s standard to cease all activities until we find out what happened,” Hartman said.
University officials say that, even if no violations were committed, Phi Kappa Tau’s activities still go against the ideals of the fraternity system.
“Even if everything was legal, it was still colossally in poor judgment,” said Joe Wills, university director of public affairs.
Shane’s World, a producer of adult films out of Van Nuys, paid a visit to the fraternity in October of last year as part of its College Invasion video series. The company has made six films in the series since 2000 and has hit campuses including Arizona State University and Indiana University.
“We tend to gravitate toward the campuses with party reputations,” said Nicole Henderson, spokeswoman for Shane’s World.
But there’s still a question as to who contacted whom.
Rick Rees, associate director of student activities, said he was told by members of Phi Kappa Tau that the company had contacted them by e-mail to film the video.
At a recent Inter-Fraternity Council meeting, Rees said he discovered that the film company also solicited several other fraternities via e-mail around the same time. Rees said that Phi Kappa Tau members told him they responded to the e-mail and entered into an agreement for use of the house for the video shoot.
However, Henderson insists that Shane’s World never contacts universities and that all its business comes from college students who have heard about the company from others.
“We get hundreds of letters and e-mails a month from all over the United States,” Henderson said. “We don’t have to contact anybody.”
Such was the case with Chico, Henderson said. She said a student contacted the company by e-mail, although she couldn’t specify if it was a member of Phi Kappa Tau.
Henderson said after the arrangements were made all the company provided were the cameras and the porn stars—in this case four female and two male actors—were brought to Chico for the filming.
Once the film crew and porn stars arrive, IDs are checked and participants are required to sign release papers. The company also pays a location fee to use the premises, Henderson said.
Before fraternity members could have sex with the film stars, they played games like “naked hula hoop” and “pussy ring toss,” where the object was to hook a ring over a dildo propped up by an actress’ vagina.
A trailer for the College Invasion 6 DVD on the company’s Web site shows party-goers, draped in togas, downing bottled Corona and champagne.
Rick Rees said that, according to fraternity members, alcohol was not supplied by the fraternity or the film company but by outsiders invited to the party.
The trailer also shows several college students engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse and oral sex with porn stars.
Henderson said the three Chico State students who participated were tested for HIV and STDs three weeks in advance. She added that adult film stars must be tested every 30 days by the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM), a nonprofit corporation that specializes in testing adult film stars.
News of the incident comes at a time when Chico’s Greek system finds itself under the proverbial microscope. In February, Chico State student Matthew Carrington died from water intoxication while pledging at Chi Tau. And it was only two weeks before Carrington’s death that Butte College student Richard Amador nearly died from alcohol poisoning at the Sigma Chi fraternity house.
Chico State President Paul Zingg said the latest incident would not play into the current review of the Greek system, but that the news couldn’t come at a worse time.
“It will add to the impression of some that the students of the university are out of control and that the university is unable to do anything about it."