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It’s one thing when a fraternity is put on suspension due to faulty evidence of serving underage students. But it’s another thing entirely when the fraternity remains on suspension even after the office that dealt the sentence admits it fucked up.
This is what’s going on at Kappa Sigma Purdue, and the brothers are poised to take the university to court.
It all started last February, when a severely intoxicated female under the age of 21 told her Room Advisor that she got drunk at a Kappa Sigma party. The report from the RA to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSSR) alleging it was Kappa Sigma who served her the alcohol was enough to spark an investigation.
From The Exponent:
According to documents obtained from the University by the Exponent, those sanctions stem from an incident last February when paramedics were called to Shreve Hall to attend to a severely intoxicated female under the age of 21. While inebriated, the woman told her Resident Assistant she was served “jungle juice” at Kappa Sigma that evening. The Shreve RA cited Kappa Sigma in her report and a subsequent investigation by OSRR was triggered. OSRR determined Kappa Sigma hosted an unregistered function that evening and that underage adults were served hard alcohol from a Gatorade container.
Kappa Sigma denied the allegations, saying that there was no party at the house as many brothers were attending sorority formals elsewhere. But in September, the OSSR brought the report to the Inetrfraternity Council Judicial Board (comprised of Greek students). No witnesses were interviewed. The board even said that it had no way of knowing the name of the underage drinker, as all names were redacted from the report.
Nevertheless, the judicial board ruled that Kappa Sigma “was more likely than not” guilty of serving the female alcohol. The fraternity was placed on suspension until May 7, 2016.
In late September 2015, the OSRR report was sent to the Interfraternity Council (IFC) Judicial Board to determine if Kappa Sigma should face sanctions. The Judicial Board presented the OSRR report as its only evidence against the fraternity. No OSRR representatives or witnesses interviewed by the OSRR were present at the hearing. In fact, because the names of witnesses were redacted from the report sent to the IFC, the Judicial Board “did not know who the witness was,” according to a letter sent from the Judicial Board to Kappa Sigma.
Immediately after the hearing, the IFC Judicial Board charged that it “was more likely than not” Kappa Sigma had violated university rules by hosting an unregistered party and serving hard alcohol to an underage individual. The fraternity was subsequently placed on probation through May 7, 2016.
Really? “More likely than not” is an official ruling? Jesus, it’s almost as if a bunch of college kids with zero legal experience whatsoever made the decision. Oh wait.
In February — a year after the initial report — Kappa Sigma filed suit against the university. When that happened, the OSSR admitted the evidence it gave to the IFC judicial board was suspect.
Still, the suspension placed on the fraternity has yet to be lifted.
Fraternities are constantly dealt harsh penalties despite a major lack of evidence. But it’s rare to see the the office that presented the evidence (or lack thereof) admit they screwed the pooch. I cannot fathom why the suspension has not been lifted yet.
Neither can Kappa Sigma, which is why they’re taking Purdue to court. The university has stated that IFC’s bungled ruling will not be a part of the trial, however.
Purdue has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Steven Schultz from the Office of Legal Council commented that “We understand that Kappa Sigma’s ultimate grievance concerns a ruling by the Interfraternity Council, an independent student organization. We’ve pointed out to the court that the IFC’s ruling is not part of the lawsuit.”
How could IFC’s ruling not be a part of the lawsuit? It is the lawsuit. Sure it’s a student group, but it’s all under the tattered umbrella that is the university kangaroo court, and the university deserves to be held accountable for allowing a gross miscarriage of justice to occur on their watch.
Get yours, Kappa Sig..
[via The Exponent]
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