Friday, November 7, 2014

Phi Kappa Theta Hearing Outcomes

A Disciplinary Conference was held on November 1, 2014, to resolve the below charges.


Respect for Others (General): Lehigh University expects that all students will act in a civil
manner that reflects maturity, social responsibility, and respect towards others and the Lehigh

Respect for Others B1 (Harassment): Violation of the in the Lehigh University Policy on

Respect for Others D1 (Hazing): Hazing as defined in the Lehigh University Code of Conduct.

Respect for Community A1 (False Information): Intentionally furnishing false information to a
university official, hearing panel, or conduct officer.

Respect for Community J1 (Encouraging Others): Encouraging or facilitating others in actions
that violate the Code of Conduct.

Respect for Self A1 (Unauthorized Consumption, Distribution, or Possession): The unauthorized
or illegal consumption, distribution, or possession of alcohol.

Respect for Self B1 (Unhealthy Consumption): The consumption or distribution of alcohol or
other drugs in a manner detrimental to one's health and safety (or the health and safety of others).


The chapter entered a plea of responsible for each of the charges. The Hearing officer concurred
with the following rationale.


The chapter admitted responsibility for the charges, and accepted the investigative report as
factually accurate. The information contained in the report as well as the testimony presented
today provided a preponderance of evidence for the specific charges as outlined below:

Respect for Others (General)

Rationale: The chapter did not monitor alcohol properly at their off campus events, encouraged
members to consume large quantities of alcohol and used language in a song that showed a lack
of respect for members of the community.

Respect for Others B1 (Harassment)

Rationale: The chapter’s actions, specifically the singing of a song that included harassing
language, on the two dates in question (as well as on previous undetermined dates) created a
hostile environment for other members of the community. The behavior was ongoing and

Respect for Others D1 (Hazing)

Rationale: Both the investigation and the testimony provided at this hearing indicated that
consuming alcohol when this song was sang was an expectation of continued membership in Phi
Kappa Theta.

Respect for Community J1

Rationale: The chapter not only provided unfettered access to alcohol at its off campus events, it
actively invited members and guests who were under 21 and encouraged on both occasions that
members consume alcohol in large quantities when the song was sung.

Respect for Self A1 (Unauthorized Consumption, Distribution, or Possession)

Rationale: The Chapter provided uncontrolled access to alcohol at its off campus parties.
Students who were under the age of 21 were able to consume alcohol. Considering the age of
most of the membership and most of Lehigh students, it is more likely than not that underage
students were given alcohol.

Respect for Self B1 (Unhealthy Consumption)

Rationale: The chapter provided an environment in which large quantities of hard alcohol were
consumed and distributed in unhealthy ways including drinking games and open punch bowls
with grain alcohol.

Respect for Community A1 (False Information)

Rationale: During the investigation a member of Phi Kappa Theta provided false information to
the investigators. The organization is responsible for the actions of its members.
The burden of proof was met on every charge and the chapter’s admission of responsibility
further solidifies these findings.


The below sanctions were imposed. I have provide a rationale for each sanction imposed as well
as this general rational.

This event was significant in that it caused harm to the community and further fostered an
environment that many find unwelcoming. It was also significant in that the chapter not only
failed to manage alcohol but actively encouraged overconsumption. This in addition to the
chapter’s disciplinary record warrants dissolution or termination. However, the chapter took full
responsibility for all of its actions and has taken the time to assess the organization and has made
significant changes based on that assessment. The chapter has also provided a plan for ongoing
assessment and change, and has held individual members accountable in a meaningful way. All
of this shows that the organization has learned from this incident and therefore I am deferring
their dissolution and allowing Phi Kappa Theta to prove itself to be a leader in the Lehigh
University Greek Community.


Disciplinary Deferred Dissolution: The organization is placed on Disciplinary Deferred
Dissolution from November 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015. During this period of time, the
organization is on notice that any further violations of the Code of Conduct will result in the
dissolution of the organization immediately without further review. Disciplinary Deferred
Dissolution may not be imposed for longer than two regular semesters. If this sanction is
imposed during a semester, it may be imposed for the remainder of that semester and two
additional semesters.

Rationale: This is the most severe sanction short of dissolution, for the longest period of time
that can be imposed on an organization. The actions of the chapter in these two incidents, as well
as their previous disciplinary history could warrant dissolution or termination.

Disciplinary Probation:
The organization is placed on disciplinary probation effective January
1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Disciplinary probation is the conditional continuation of a
group or organization for a specified period of time not to exceed four semesters. This status
implies that any further violation of this Code of Conduct may result in dissolution, termination,
or other authorized sanctions. Other sanctions may be imposed, including limitations on social
activities, and additional requirements may be imposed as conditions for reinstatement of
recognition in good standing.

Rationale: When the chapter comes off of deferred dissolution, they will need to remain focused
on their plans and future goals and should be aware that further violations even during this period
could result in their removal from the Greek Community.

Alcohol Free Organization: The organization will be alcohol free effective November 1, 2014
through December 31, 2015. The chapter cannot host any events in the house with alcohol and
individual members are not permitted to have alcohol in their rooms. The chapter can host nonalcoholic events during the probationary period. The chapter is also prohibited from hosting off campus events with alcohol unless a licensed third party vendor is utilized. Events that are held off campus in members residences will be considered chapter events if a reasonable person reviewing the facts would consider the incident a Phi Kappa Theta event.

Rationale: A significant portion of this case involved a lack of management of alcohol.
Additionally every other violation the chapter has had has been related to alcohol. It is clear that
the chapter currently does not have a culture that can handle the responsibility of managing
alcohol for its members and guests on or off campus.


Comprehensive Educational Plan: The chapter is required to develop a long term (12-18
month) comprehensive plan for addressing the harm that they caused in the community and
educating their members and members of the University Community on issues related to all
facets of diversity and inclusion with the initial focus being on LGBTQIA. This plan must be
developed with the guidance of Ms. Holly Taylor the Assistant Director of the Office of Student
Conduct & Community Expectations and other appropriate University Staff.

a. The plan, once approved must be made public via the OFSA website and other media.
b. The chapter must provide regular updates regarding the progress the chapter is making
to the Lehigh University Community through the OFSA website as well as other media.
c. An initial report on this long term plan is due by December 1, 2014

Rationale: The chapter has indicated that they understand that their actions have an
impact on the community and that they want to be true agents of change in the Greek
Community. Having a plan that is transparent and reviewed by the public will assist
them in meeting this goal and repairing the harm they admit to causing.

Written Audit Report: The chapter is required to complete a written report on their internal
audit that provides the University Community with an understanding of the goals of the audit, the
process of the audit, the outcomes of the audit, and future plans for ongoing organizational

1. This report is due by November 15, 2014 to the Office of Student Conduct &
Community Expectations.

Rationale: The chapter has indicated that it has expended a considerable amount of energy on
assessment and self-reflection. This report will provide documentation for that work.

Restorative Dialogue:
The chapter indicated during the hearing that they are working on
meeting with student leaders of the LGBT community to set up a dialogue session. This is to be
developed and executed with the assistance of appropriate University officials by November 15,

Rationale: The chapter has indicated that they are already work on this aspect of restoring the
community. It is required that they do so in a guided and thoughtful manner.