The Kappa Sigma fraternity at East Tenessee State University has been suspended due to allegations of underage drinking, unregistered parties, providing alcohol to pledges and new members, and hazing.
According to ETSU interim Communications Director Amanda Mowell, the fraternity has been placed on interim suspension pending a judicial hearing. Mowell stated that the active fraternity members were notified of the interim suspension on September 28.
Reports indicate that many of the alleged incidents happened at the fraternity’s chapter house on West Pine St in Johnson City.
Kappa Sigma — which has approximately 50 active members — is one of 17 Greek life organizations at East Tennessee State University.
“The people who are members of that group cannot get together and actively participate in their group activities,” Mowell said.
As far as the future of the fraternity, Mowell said that will be determined during a judicial hearing planned to be held by the end of the semester.
“We take any allegations very seriously and we are doing our diligence to be sure that we follow protocol and we hold a judicial hearing, give an opportunity for these allegations to be reviewed,” Mowell said.
Kappa Sigma is not the only fraternity at ETSU to face conduct issues. Pi Kappa Alpher fraternity officials announce the suspension of their fraternity chapter at ETSU in January following multiple violations including violence, fights, and sexual assault. The chapter will be suspended at ETSU until 2021.
The suspension of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at East Tenessee State University is the latest major fraternity or sorority lawsuit, investigation, suspension or closure in the last year, as schools such as Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Wake Forest University, Ohio State University, Texas State, Florida State, Ball State, Louisiana State University, and Penn State have all suspended fraternities in the wake of hazing and alcohol deaths.
These reports come amidst similar allegations that have been made against fraternities nationwide, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon at East Carolina University, who was shut down for hazing and the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter at the University of Arkansas which has been accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of women without their permission.
In response to incidents like these, fraternities such Phi Kappa Psi have made numerous changes to their code of conduct in an effort to address the issues that have arisen. In addition, schools such as Texas State, West Virginia University, and Penn State University have introduced new Greek Life rules to try and prevent these problems.