The University of Iowa has removed Kappa Sigma Beta-Rho’s status as a registered student organization for violating policies on hazing and alcohol. The Kappa Sigma International Fraternity also voted to revoke its charter.
In an email to the Fraternity/Sorority Life community, UI Vice President for Student Life Melissa Shivers said the chapter and students involved in it will no longer operate as a student organization, and if members do not comply, there could be disciplinary action.
Kappa Sigma and any other accused student organization has the opportunity to appeal by sending a written notice of appeal to the Dean of Students Office.
This removal is the result of an investigation into hazing allegations toward Kappa Sigma after its suspension on Nov. 2. Eleven other fraternities were also placed on temporary suspension throughout the fall for alcohol and other policy violations.
Originally founded at the UI in 1902, Kappa Sigma has had a long history of lying dormant then being revamped on campus. The organization was “re-colonized” on campus in 1969, and again in 2002. It then became dormant in 2003, and was re-chartered again in 2014.
Shivers said in her email that investigations into the other suspended fraternities have been completed, and the associate dean and IMU executive director will meet with individual chapters Thursday to share the outcomes.
“As I’ve shared before, the UI has a rich fraternity and sorority life culture, and we will not allow the positive impact of most of the community to be overshadowed or undermined by the actions of a few,” Shivers said in her email. “Any chapter that refuses to abide by our policies will be held accountable.”
As previously reported in The Daily Iowan, two other greek organizations, fraternity Delta Chi in March and sorority Delta Sigma Theta in May, have also been investigated in 2018 for hazing. Delta Chi, one of the fraternities suspended in October, is suspended through spring 2020 due to its conduct during the policy violations in March.
UI President Bruce Harreld said in an interview with the DI on Dec. 7 that the issue of hazing probably won’t go away any time soon, and that there needs to be a conversation about it, as well as alcohol and drug use in the greek system.
“Parents and families send their loved ones to the UI with the expectation that their safety, health, and well-being will be the top priority,” Harreld said in a statement to the DI on Wednesday about Kappa Sigma losing its registered student organization status. “This decision honors that expectation.”
Greek-community leaders implemented an alcohol moratorium that suspended all social events after the death of UI student Kamil Jackowski in April 2017. A pilot program was implemented in November 2017 to test letting chapters with no violations have social events with strict guidelines. This program continued through the fall 2018 semester.
Shivers said in her email the work group she put together to create a Fraternity/Sorority Life 2020 Strategic Plan is preparing to give her recommendations by the end of 2018. They will deliver information in categories such as risk management, health, and safety; peer accountability and transparency; and continuous improvement and assessment of programs and initiatives.
“We hope to begin implementation of the recommendations next semester and look forward to sharing more with you at that time,” Shivers said in her email.