Two Kansas fraternities have recently been put on probation for hazing, and the university is staying silent as to exactly why according to Journal World. The investigation of Delta Tau Delta allegedly resulted in a 10-point list of infractions, but the words following all of the points were redacted by the university.
KU’s investigation of Delta Tau Delta confirmed multiple hazing behaviors, according to a letter from KU to the fraternity. That list has 10 points, but KU redacted all the words following those points before providing the letter to the newspaper.
Jim Russell, executive vice president at the fraternity’s national headquarters in Fishers, Ind., declined to elaborate, saying only that the KU chapter’s sanctions followed “hazing activity” in the chapter’s new member program during the fall 2014 semester.
“That activity violated the risk management policy of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and was not in alignment with our stated values,” Russell said. “Subsequently, a formal review of the chapter’s membership was conducted during the spring 2015 semester which resulted in disciplinary action for some individual members.”
The same is true for the historically black fraternity Phi Beta Sigma.
Phi Beta Sigma engaged “in a variety of hazing activities” from January 2015 until spring break, according to a letter to the fraternity from KU. Again, a summary of those activities was redacted by KU before providing the letter to the Journal World.
As terms of its KU probation, Phi Beta Sigma was banned from candidate intake until at least fall 2016, according to the letter. The chapter is not allowed to participate in KU’s annual Step Show or stroll competitions, must send members to all National Pan-Hellenic Council and KU Greek Life educational programs and must prepare a program to participate in National Hazing Prevention Week.
“I strongly caution the newly initiated men to be mindful of allowing former members of the chapter to continue their involvement,” KU student conduct officer Lance Watson wrote. “It is imperative that this chapter embrace this ‘fresh start’ to move forward away from behaviors that could place candidates and members in danger.”
My first assumption upon reading this was that the fraternities were being both victimized and vilified at the same time, as is often the case. After all, my mother pulled this move on me a million times. Telling me I was in trouble, without actually knowing anything, so I’d admit to my wrongdoings? Classic. But it seems that in reality, the university is going above and beyond to protect the fraternities, or more than likely, its own reputation.
The school cites the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as to why pages of the 23-page report the newspaper paid for were missing, though it is unlikely an organization as a whole could be covered under the act, as Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center points out:
“FERPA is a very narrow statute, it governs only individually identifiable student education records,” he said. “A penalty that’s imposed on a club or an organization will almost never qualify as a FERPA record, just by definition. If the penalty is imposed on an organization and not an individual, it is not any particular student’s education record.”
Which begs the question, what the hell is going on over there?.
[via Journal World]
Image via US News