Campus officials have put housed fraternity Kappa Sigma on provisional alcohol and party suspension for conduct and possible policy violations during New Student Orientation, according to Nate Boswell, associate director of Residential Education (ResEd) on the Row. ResEd, the Office of Student Life (OSL) and the Alcohol Advisory Board issued the suspension, pending investigation and possible further action by the Organizational Conduct Board (OCB).
“The University is following up with Kappa Sigma regarding concerns of an alleged unregistered event during NSO,” wrote Kappa Sig President Harris Brown ’11 in an e-mail statement to The Daily.
Under suspension, Kappa Sig may not host events where alcohol is served or consumed, according to Ralph Castro, manager of Health Promotion Service’s substance abuse prevention program.
A Greek organization can be put on alcohol and party suspension if it violates the Controlled Substances and Alcohol Policy of the University, which prohibits serving alcohol during “dry” weekends.
“We have been cooperating with the University through an interim alcohol suspension and working hard to address any specific concerns that may arise,” Brown added.
Kappa Sig was last under review and put on probation during the 2001-2002 school year.
All housed fraternities and sororities are overseen by ResEd’s Row Office, which can take immediate penalizing action while a more in-depth OCB review process continues. The OCB may then rule to take no further action, extend suspension or place the Greek organization on probation.
“Over the years, Greek organizations have gone through the OCB process on a yearly basis,” Castro wrote in an e-mail to The Daily. “For the most part, our Greek organizations are comprised of responsible and thoughtful individuals. Sometimes, there are instances where a few members make poor decisions that affect the entire organization.”
Probation, unlike suspension, means the Greek organization may still host social events and parties with highly controlled alcohol, though under increased scrutiny by the University.
Probation, given for sustained behavior patterns, is considered a warning to fraternities and sororities, cautioning them to improve their conduct or risk losing their housing if probation continues for several years.
Suspended fraternities and sororities, on the other hand, may not have alcohol of any kind for gatherings larger than five people. Suspensions may be imposed for single incidents or series of incidents.
Both suspension and probation periods depend on the severity of the offenses and the conduct of the offending organization.
To get off probation, the Greek organization must meet guidelines set by ResEd. Most recently, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) was lifted off its 2009-1010 housing probation, which was imposed in May 2009 for “various violations of the University’s alcohol policy during the preceding months,” according to SAE President Owen Boochever ’11.
“Specifically, [ResEd] wanted to see that we could not only be more responsible when serving alcohol at our social events, but that we could contribute more to our members and the campus as a whole than just a venue for parties,” Boochever wrote in an e-mail to The Daily.
If a fraternity or sorority does not improve its behavior on probation, it faces eviction from its residence. It has been more than seven years since a Greek organization was removed from its house (see “Housing Timeline”).
In 1998, the University evicted Phi Delta Theta (now 680 Lomita) after a member fell off the balcony while intoxicated and while the fraternity was under probation. The University later revoked the fraternity’s charter. Fraternities Theta Xi (formerly housed in 717 Dolores), Delta Kappa Epsilon (now Phi Kappa Psi) and Delta Tau Delta (in what is now Narnia) lost their houses in the ’90s and early 2000s.
The Kappa Sig suspension comes at a time when ResEd is dealing with an upswing in alcohol-related incidents.
“To date, this year has been especially troubling for us because we have seen more serious alcohol incidents than in the past and some of these have centered around Greek houses,” Castro said.
Alcohol suspensions and probations may be administered by ResEd to any residence or student organization prior to OCB review, not just Greeks, Boswell said. But Castro said Greeks in particular are under more scrutiny by the University.
“Housed Greek organizations are held to a higher standard because they are both a house and a student organization,” Castro said.