Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Conduct Update: Alpha Chi Omega


Update 2.27.18
The University Committee on Discipline will meet to resolve the below charges against your organization Alpha Chi Omega Sorority at the following time, date and location:

HEARING:
Monday, March 5, 2018 at 4:00 p.m..

CHARGES:
Respect for Others D1 (Hazing)
Hazing is any action taken or situation created, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Hazing includes but is not limited to any brutality of a physical nature, such as paddling, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity that would subject the individual to physical harm or mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which would adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual. Among prohibited activities are forced or coerced activities which create excessive fatigue; cause physical and psychological shocks; involve kidnapping; involve morally questionable quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, or any other such activities; involve publicly wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; cause students to engage in public stunts and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, or late night activities which interfere with scholastic activities. Also prohibited are any activities that are in violation of federal, state, or local laws, this Code of Conduct, or accepted standards of good taste or propriety. For purposes of this definition, any activity described in this paragraph upon which the admission into or affiliation with an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be “forced or coerced” activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.

Specifically: Alpha Chi Omega Sorority planned a scavenger hunt in which participants received points for various acts including sexual activity, the use of drugs and alcohol, ingesting foods and other liquids.

These activities meet the definition of hazing in this manner:
a) forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance
b) forced activity, which would adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual
c) activities [that] involve morally questionable quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, or any other
such activities; cause students to engage in public stunts and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities
d) activities that are in violation of federal, state, or local laws, this Code of Conduct, or accepted
standards of good taste or propriety

The activities listed were forced or coerced based on the final section of this definition:
a) any activity described in this paragraph upon which the admission into or affiliation with an
organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be “forced or coerced” activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.

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 Community.

Specifically: The activities listed above that Alpha Chi Omega planned and executed for their members failed to meet normal standards of maturity, social responsibility, or respect towards others and the Lehigh Community.

Respect for Community (General)
As members of the Lehigh University Community, students are expected to serve as ethical
representatives. They are expected to know and follow the Code of Conduct, and show respect for the
faculty, staff, community members and administrative processes that are in place to maintain and support our community standards. Students are expected to hold themselves and others accountable and report violations of the Code of Conduct or other violations to the University.

Specifically: The activities listed above that Alpha Chi Omega planned and executed for their members failed to follow the Code of Conduct, failed to show respect for community members, and the members failed to hold themselves and others accountable.

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

Specifically: Alpha Chi Omega Sorority encouraged its members to participate in multiple activities that violate that Lehigh University Code of Conduct.

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

Specifically: A member of Alpha Chi Omega admitted in an editorial in the Brown and White that juniors were drinking the chapter house. Not every member of the junior class were over 21.

Respect for Community L1 (Failure to Report / Being in the Presence of a violation)
Failure to report and/or knowingly being in the presence of violations of the Lehigh University Code of Conduct or other University Policies.

Specifically: Alpha Chi Omega Sorority planned and executed an event that the members knew or
reasonably should have known were in violation of the Lehigh University Code of Conduct and Other
policies.

NOTE ON ACCOUNTABILITY STATEMENT:
This was clearly an Alpha Chi Omega Sorority event as defined in the Lehigh University Accountability Statement (Article II. Section I, Part G. of the Code of Conduct): Any group or organization may be held accountable for the actions of any of its members if the violation of the Code of Conduct is in any way related to the group or organization. Group misconduct need not be officially approved by the entire membership in order to be considered grounds for possible disciplinary action against the group. There is no minimum number of group members who must be involved in an incident before disciplinary action may be taken against the entire group. In some instances, the conduct of a single member may provide sufficient grounds for action against the entire group. An appropriate but not exhaustive test to determine whether a group may be held accountable for the conduct of individuals is to ask whether it is likely that the individuals would have been involved in the incident if they were not members of the group or, if, by group action, the incident was encouraged, fostered, or might have been prevented.

DATE OF INCIDENT: December 8, 2017
INCIDENT SUMMARY: Alpha Chi Omega Sorority planned and executed a scavenger hunt (Road Rally) that involved the use of drugs and alcohol, sexual activity, and other activities that violate Lehigh University policy.

Update: 01.26.18
The Equal Opportunity Compliance Coordinator and the Dean of Students Office are continuing an investigation into an incident that occurred on or about December 8, 2017 involving Alpha Chi Omega.  The Code of Conduct requires individuals identified as witness to cooperate in the investigation and maintain confidentiality of this process.   

For more information concerning the University Disciplinary Process, please refer to the Lehigh University Code of Conduct.   


Initial Post: 12.12.17
To: Members of the Lehigh University Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority.
From: Christopher J. Mulvihill, Associate Dean of Students
RE: TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF Alpha Chi Omega Sorority

As of the issuance of this letter on December 12, 2017, the Lehigh University Chapter of Alpha Chi
Omega Sorority is placed on temporary suspension pending the outcome of an investigation into
allegations that the chapter hosted, planned, and/or executed a scavenger hunt (road rally) that encouraged illegal and/or proscribed activity.

Effective immediately the Lehigh University Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority is prohibited from conducting all activities until this suspension is lifted. This suspension applies to all organized events as well as impromptu social gatherings of members and/or guests that could be construed in any way to be an Alpha Chi Omega event.

This action is being taken in accordance with Article IV of the Lehigh University Code of Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct & Community Expectations will begin an investigation into this incident in the immediate future and this interim suspension will remain in place until lifted by the Dean of Students.

Questions regarding this suspension should be directed to my office. I can be reached via email at
cjm9@lehigh.edu or via telephone at 610-758-4632.