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Fraternity to move on after hazing incident

This item originally appeared in the February 17, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

Any doubt that the university or the administration will not enforce its "no tolerance" policy on hazing has been washed away by actions taken in response to the recent Kappa Alpha Order hazing issue.

Among the penalties enforced by the student organizations committee and the national office of the Kappa Alpha Order that met Feb. 2, the fraternity must: organize and sponsor three educational hazing presentations and submit a new reorganized member education program.

They must also refrain from participating in any fraternity-oriented social functions until fall 2005.

In addition, each member must participate in 30 hours of community service and pay a fine of $80 to the Kappa Alpha Order national headquarters.

The chapter must also make an apology to members of the university administration, the Greek community, Andy Cummings, the student who brought allegations against the fraternity, and his father.

Nine members will be placed on involuntary alumnus or member in bad standing status through fall 2005.

These nine members must apply for reinstatement if they wish to be a part of the organization.

The KAs had already put themselves on involuntary suspension, but these penalties will stand as a reference mark for those fraternities, sororities and other student organizations on campus with questionable hazing policies and activities.

This incident should encourage all student organizations to review their new-member programs, and make sure everyone knows what hazing is.

Dee Dee Anderson, the Interfraternity Council adviser and the dean of student development, attended the two-hour meeting where the fraternity's national office made good on its "no tolerance" hazing policy.

"Our precedents show that it was more strict than typical for first time and that really came more from the national office; which is good," Anderson said.

"The national office and the local chapter are self-regulating, it makes the job for us much easier."

Though serious, the hazing incidents were generally non-violent but do serve as a tremendous blow to the fraternity as well as the university as displayed by the severity of the punishment.

Dickie Crawford, the dean of student life and auxiliary services, said, "I think it was fair; I think it was communicated by this verdict by the national office and the university because we do take it seriously."

Crawford said the university's action shows that hazing is not condoned, but the university still supports the KAs by offering them assistance in regaining their status on campus and rebuilding their organization.

The KAs can re-establish their once-admirable position on campus by reviewing current rules and mission statements and making necessary adjustments to the actions of their members.

KA had been reborn as a leading fraternity until this incident.

But now with the Feb. 2 meeting out of the way, the KAs can once again focus on building a strong fraternity.

Anderson said "[We] will continue to work closely with that group to help them continue to grow and make progress and do the right thing."

The "zero tolerance" message this breach in brotherhood has brought to light has reverberated throughout the Greek system and hopefully will bring changes in induction policies and programs.

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