MU suspends sorority colony following hazing violations
Published: Thursday, February 1, 2007
Updated: Sunday, February 14, 2010 23:02
A year after colonizing at Miami University, Kappa Phi Lambda sorority has been suspended from campus until the fall of 2008.
After violating the hazing policy as defined by the Code of Student Conduct, Kappa Phi Lambda sought appeals. Ultimately, the original decision handed down by the Office of Ethics and Conflict Resolution in an Oct. 30 hearing was upheld.
"The Asian Interest Sorority, Kappa Phi Lambda, has been found guilty of violating the Code of Student Conduct titled 'Hazing,'" said April Robles, assistant director of Greek affairs in the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. "They are being sanctioned by the university."
The sorority will be suspended from the university until Sept. 1, 2008, at which time its members must receive approval from the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution, the Cliff Alexander Office and its current adviser.
Events leading up to the suspension occurred Sept. 30, when three newly accepted members of the sorority traveled to Columbus to take part in activities that caused "extreme fatigue, humiliation and psychological abuse," according to a press release issued Jan. 29 by the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution.
"To get re-recognized by the university, they have to submit a reorganization plan (in 2008)," said Chris Taylor, associate director of the conflict resolution office.
Around the time of the original hearing, the sorority's national office tried to intervene on their behalf.
"We received some letters in support of the organization as they were going through the process," Taylor said. "But I'm not aware of any further action."
Kappa Phi Lambda appealed to the university appeals board Nov. 17 and the vice president for student affairs Dec. 4, but both appeals failed.
Although similar measures were taken against the Theta Chi fraternity last spring, Taylor said that hazing is not as common as people might suspect.
"I think that if you look at the number of organizations we have on campus … (hazing) doesn't happen too often," Taylor said. "But it may be less common for sororities than fraternities."
Susan Vaughn, director of the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution, said that sanctions for violations of university policies regarding alcohol and hazing are less common for sororities than fraternities. She also said that it isn't just Greek organizations that receive sanctions for violations of these policies.
"It's an uncommon occurrence (for a sorority to receive a sanction)," Vaughn said. "It's infrequent that organizations get in trouble. If we were looking at fraternities and sororities, it's less frequent that sororities have been sanctioned for violations of hazing or alcohol policies."
Vaughn said that while the sorority in this case violated multiple aspects of the hazing policy, including taking members out of town and causing fatigue, alcohol was not involved. If it was, she said, it would have been included in the office's press release.
Kappa Phi Lambda is an Asian-American interest sorority, which was founded in early 1995 at the State University of New York in Binghamton, N.Y. Since then, it has expanded to universities throughout the East Coast and Midwest, including 16 chapters and eight colonies.
The sorority could not be reached for comment.