Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Conduct Update: Kappa Sigma

Members of the University Committee on Discipline met in December 2015 to adjudicate the following charges using the process outlined in Article V of the Lehigh University Code of Conduct.

1. Respect for Others B1 (Harassment) -- Responsible 

2. Respect for Others (General) -- Responsible 

The panel provided the following rationale for this finding: 
Kappa Sigma Fraternity admitted to hosting an event at Asian Bistro on the night of October 22, 2015 where there was an interaction of some kind that required a member's intervention. The complainant indicated that harassing remarks were made to him by the members of the fraternity. A fraternity member confirmed that members of Kappa Sigma Fraternity confronted the complainant that evening at Asian Bistro. 

The panel is concerned that members clearly could have identified some of the members involved in the situation.  The standards board, while choosing to ask members to admit to the allegation, when finding no one, did nothing. They could have chosen to do some type of educational sanction for the entire group in attendance at Asian Bistro that evening. Choosing to do nothing, is making a choice to do something. 

As a result of this behavior the following sanction(s) will be imposed:
The organization is placed on Disciplinary Deferred Dissolution from December 16, 2015 through May 31, 2016. 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.

Kappa Sigma Fraternity is placed on Disciplinary Probation effective June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017. 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.

The following educational sanction is being imposed. As a part of new member education, the entire new member class for spring 2016 and the entire active chapter must participate in a restorative meeting to repair community harm. This meeting will include representatives from faculty & staff, chosen by the Conduct Office.  

The following educational sanction is being imposed. Meet with OFSA staff in January 2016 to come up with an action plan on how to fix & implement the standards board and include ethical leadership training. 

On February 8, 2016, the Disciplinary Appeals Committee met to hear the appeal that the chapter submitted. Kappa Sigma Fraternity appealed on the grounds (3) the sanction was unduly harsh. The Disciplinary Appeals Committee denied the appeal with the following rationale: 

The committee denied the appeal on the basis of the sanctions being unduly harsh. The sanctions fall within the appropriate range for cases involving harassment and are actually less severe than the sanction recommended in the Code of Conduct. 

This decision by the Disciplinary Appeals Committee is final and with it the disciplinary process is completed for this incident. All sanctions imposed go into effect immediately.