Lehigh’s chapter of Kappa Sigma has been dissolved by the University Committee on Discipline. The fraternity, which was founded at Lehigh in 1900 and recolonized after losing chapter recognition in 2007, has lost all privileges to use university equipment or facilities until July 14, 2019, according to the Lehigh Greeks blog.
This decision follows an off-campus incident on April 22 in which more than 40 students were issued citations for underage drinking, one student was cited for multiple counts of furnishing alcohol and another student required emergency medical assistance.
After the incident, Kappa Sigma was suspended by the fraternity’s executive director and required to cease all fraternity-related activities. Additionally, both the chapter house and any other houses where the fraternity brothers congregated were ordered to be alcohol free.
Following an investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Expectations, the University Committee on Discipline charged the fraternity with respect for self (unauthorized consumption, distribution or possession of alcohol), respect for community (irresponsible distribution of alcohol) and respect for community (encouraging others).
The chapter had been on deferred disciplinary dissolution for several incidents since December 2015 – including two incidents in February and March of this year – and had been given multiple second chances, according to the committee. The panel thus determined that the only appropriate course of action was to dissolve the chapter, in accordance with Code of Conduct guidelines.
“The chapter will be eligible to return to Lehigh at the end of the dissolution period beginning on July 14, 2019,” read the blog, “provided the campus is open to expansion and subject to recognition processes in place at the time.”
However, the chapter’s ability to return to campus could be jeopardized and/or delayed if the students fail to comply with the sanctions and carry on as an underground or unrecognized group.
Students intending to reside in the Kappa Sigma chapter house no longer have the ability to do so, and must find alternative housing options. No decisions have yet been made regarding the facility and its use for the upcoming year.
“We recognize that losing a chapter certainly has an impact across our fraternity and sorority community and beyond,” read the blog. “Please know that the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs staff are committed to supporting students as they navigate this challenging transition so that they may enjoy a meaningful and worthwhile experience at Lehigh.”