Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Greek chapters violate conduct

Two sororities and two fraternities are currently under investigation by the dean of students as a result of failure to comply with the college’s code of conduct during the new member period which ended on April 10. Those groups are Chi Alpha Pi (CAP), Sigma Pi Delta (Speed),  Omicron Sigma Omicron (OZO)  and Phi Omega Phi (Poobah). 
Of those groups, the OZO fraternity’s chapter has been suspended by the school until the school has decided on sanctions that will be placed on the group. The newest OZO pledge class is also forbidden from being activated at this time, and the active members of the group are not allowed to contact or hang out with their newest members, according to Roberto Sanchez, OZO president.
Katey Bignall, director of Greek Life, confirmed that some of those chapters are being investigated because of violation of alcohol policy, while others are being investigated because of pledging activities that took place outside of the set new member education hours.
According to Evelyn Campbell, dean of students, each of the groups are under investigation and are pending outcomes of the investigation which could lead to further sanctions if they are found guilty.
Campbell said that because of the broad definition of hazing, some of the investigations being conducted currently could be defined as hazing related events.
The administration is not currently in a position to release any details pertaining to the investigation.
We hope to have this situation cleared up soon, “said Alexandira Lee, president of the Speed sorority. “Katey Bignall, Dean Schnack and our advisor Anne Earl have been very helpful throughout the process by helping us understand and handle the situation.” 
The presidents of both Poobah and CAP did not immediately respond to the opportunity to provide a statement.
Dean Campbell said that currently, no group is in danger of having their chapter discontinued.
“I want to work with these communities so we can teach them, and train them to get better. I don’t feel the need to take the most serious action on the part of the college,” said Campbell.
Campbell said that pending investigation, the college will play a role in the activation of the newest OZO pledge class. Campbell hopes to restore the situation and help understand boundaries and code of conduct.
“The administration is acting within its rights per the established policy, but we believe that this punishment weighs more heavily on our new members,” said Sanchez, talking about the newest OZO pledge class. “They are certainly not at fault, nevertheless they could not participate in week six social events, or interact at all with a brotherhood that they worked for nearly five weeks to be apart of.”
Other groups currently on probation for various reasons include Zeta Phi Kappa (Zetas), Beta Omega Sigma (BOS) and Phi Rho. Each of those groups will have their probation lifted at the end of the 2015-2016 academic school year. 
The Investigation Process
Campbell said the chief investigator of a break in the student code of conduct is Dean Laura Schnack. Both Katey Bignall and Campbell have served as chief investigator in certain Greek related situations in the past.
Katey Bignall and Campbell both explained the investigation process as follows:
When a concern is brought to the Dean of Students office, the investigation begins. The investigator will begin to identify people “in the know” and interview those individuals one by one.
If the information indicates a violation of code of conduct, the Greek group will be contacted and given an opportunity to select a faculty advisor who can represent them.
From there, the chapter’s faculty advisor, Katey Bignall, and the deans will sit down and discuss the evidence. If the evidence does in fact indicate a violation in policy, then the group is notified again.
They are given three options: they can plead responsible and let the tribeca of administrators and chosen faculty chose their sanction, they can plead responsible and let the Student Policy Committee (SPC) chose their sanction, or they can plead not responsible and request the SPC to hold a complete hearing.
Campbell said that her main goal is to partner with Greek groups to create an environment where new Greek members are physically, mentally and psychologically safe. She hopes that the new member period can be one that is encouraging and nurturing.
Campbell said that it is concerning to her to see the way some groups, or individuals within those groups, are conducting themselves in the campus community.
“There wasn’t one single thing that stood out to me,” said Campbell. “I think that the number of groups that came to our attention is a concern to me.”
Bignall said while groups often get a bad reputation, which can be stirred up by rumors, following these types of events, it is often a small group or even an individual within a group that causes these types of situations. Not the entire group itself. Dean Campbell agreed.
Campbell said that she believes the Greek system is a tremendous benefit to Augustana College.
“Overall, the fact is that (the Greek system) provides excellent leadership training, a wonderful social environment to develop those skills, to network, to make friends and develop skills that will serve them well when they graduate,” Campbell said.
Campbell hopes that when poor decisions are made, this intervention process can help turn around the direction of the group.
“We need to all be about creating healthy environments for each other, and I think sometimes during the new member period, environments can be created that challenge that goal, and when that happens the college has to step in,” said Campbell.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Greek chapters violate conduct