Kennesaw State University has suspended one of its fraternities for two and a half years after a student in September reported incidents of alleged hazing.
According to a story in the KSU Sentinel, the university's newspaper, the alleged incidents of "servitude, alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation" involved the 37-member Kennesaw Chapter of Delta Chi International Fraternity, which has appealed the suspension.
All of the allegations, if true, are violations of the school's anti-hazing policy.
University officials could not be reached for comment today, but a leader at Delta Chi's Iowa City headquarters said the fraternity and the school are conducting separate investigations to determine what actually happened on Sept. 7 and where it happened.
"Right now, we're still trying to figure that out," Justin Sherman, Delta Chi's international director of fraternity growth and advancement, told Kennesaw Patch.
It's not clear if the alleged hazing took place on campus or off campus. Delta Chi does not have a fraternity house at Kennesaw State, Sherman said.
"There's a lot of stories out there," he said. "We're still trying to figure out what's accurate and what's not accurate. So at this time, I don't really want to say if there's anything that's been alleged for the sheer fact that we don't have strong evidence to support anything right now."
The university, Sherman said, notified Delta Chi's international office of the allegations on Sept. 14. The fraternity on Oct. 3 placed Delta Chi under conservatorship, which means the local chapter is under "strict supervision" and "full authority" of an alumni member.
"Delta Chi believes very strongly in providing a quality fraternity experience for young men," Sherman said in a separate statement that was emailed to Kennesaw Patch. "Delta Chi does not support or condone activities inconsistent with the values of strong moral character, leadership, educational excellence, and civic responsibility. Delta Chi will conduct a thorough review and perform our duties to their fullest extent and in accordance with the due process established in our constitution, by-laws and regulations."
Kennesaw State's Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity has 30 days from the date of Delta Chi's appeal to respond to the fraternity, according to the Sentinel.
Kennesaw's chapter is only five years old and has never had problems in the past, Sherman told Kennesaw Patch. He said it could take up to 60 days for the international office to wrap up its investigation.
"If the group is found to be in violation of our risk management policy," Sherman said, "there would be sanctions taken against the group because we do have that expectation for all of our chapters to uphold our values and live by those."
Colleges and universities have been on heightened alert since the death of Florida A&M University student Robert Champion, who was from Decatur. Champion, one of the drum majors of the school's famed Marching 100 band, died last November after a hazing incident at the annual Florida Classic in Orlando. His parents are suing the university.
Despite the punishment handed down from Kennesaw State, Delta Chi's Sherman said: "In the world of fraternities, there's severe hazing cases and there's minor hazing cases. I wouldn't label this as anything severe in terms of seeing any sort of lawsuit or action taken."
Open the PDF under the photo to read the full statement from the international office of Delta Chi.