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Writing about the closure of a chapter is right at the top of my list of the shittiest aspects of this job. I’ve never been one to get pleasure out of seeing someone’s university community broken apart and told they’re no longer welcome on campus. Of course, some certainly deserve their sentence. Others, however, truly find themselves in a situation no Greek ever wants to face.
While I cannot make any judgement on the merits of the removal of the College of Charleston Kappa Alpha chapter, any chapter that has survived 112 years is truly a historic treasure to lose.
From The Post and Courier:
A second fraternity at the College of Charleston has closed this year after allegations surfaced of misconduct and criminal behavior.
Members of the college’s Kappa Alpha Order decided to close their 112-year-old chapter, college and fraternity officials confirmed Monday.
“This was not a decision made lightly,” Sarah Jane Franciscus, the college’s director of fraternity and sorority life, wrote in an email to Greek life members. “While this news might be shocking to many of you, as it was for many involved, we do ask that you respect the decision made by the students as they move forward with their collegiate careers and status as alumni of the Kappa Alpha Order.”
While the university claims the active members voted to voluntarily close to chapter, I find it hard to believe a group of 18 to 21-year-olds in a century old chapter gathered ’round and made the decision to pull the plug on themselves without some serious strong-arming from a more powerful entity.
Nobody is talking, but the decision seems to come after the chapter’s former president was busted in one of the largest drug-ring discoveries in the city’s history.
News of the chapter’s closure comes just months after a Post and Courier investigation uncovered a major drug ring allegedly involving current and former fraternity members who enlisted pledges as drug mules and sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of cocaine, pills and other narcotics just steps from campus. One man arrested in the police investigation of the drug ring was the 2014 president of the college’s Kappa Alpha Order.
And, if their national organization is to be believed, “following the review,” the chapter decided closing its doors was the best option.
“Following the review, the chapter membership amicably determined to not continue forward as a chapter and the chapter was closed effective Friday, September 23,” Lyons said in an email to The Post and Courier. “Kappa Alpha Order and the College of Charleston have agreed to restart the chapter with new membership no earlier than the fall term of 2018.”
There’s a lot going on here, and while I’ll never be one to chastise someone for saving their own ass, I’m convinced the story of what went on behind the scenes isn’t as amicable as the press release would like us to believe.
Either way, RIP, KA. 112-years is nothing to scoff at. It’s a shame it had to end this way..
[via The Post and Courier]
Image via ABC News 4