The LUPD increased its presence on campus after anonymous reports of hazing. The university also recieved 60 phone calls from concerned parents regarding fraternity recruitment. (Aminat Ologunebi/B&W Staff)

LUPD presence increases after hazing reports

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The Lehigh University Police Department increased the number of officers on duty this weekend in response to nine anonymous reports of hazing within the Greek community, LUPD chief Edward Shupp said.

Shupp said officers were not ordered to purposefully bust fraternity houses. Instead, he said LUPD received orders to be a visible presence on campus to deter crime.

Nine reports of hazing is high for this time of year, Shupp said. Since the reports are anonymous, it provides a challenge for LUPD. An anonymous report on one fraternity must be treated as a possible report on every fraternity.

“We’re not miracle workers,” Shupp said. “I can’t do anything if I don’t know what house you’re talking about. I don’t want to go into 22 different houses and accuse people because I don’t have probable cause to do so.”

In an email sent out to the university Tuesday night, provost and vice provost of Student Affairs Pat Farrell and Ian Birky said “reports that Greek chapters are being ‘raided,’ or that students are being ‘lined up and forced to submit to breathalyzer tests’ are also not true.”

Shupp said many of these reports came from a Lehigh parents’ page on Facebook.

“What bothers me are the rumors,” Shupp said. “When I’m looking at this parents’ page, I don’t know how their sons or daughters could even tell their parents some of these things.”

Shupp said one post on the page claimed LUPD officers were standing outside residence halls and lining up 40 students to perform preliminary breath tests, or PBTs. Shupp said the 150 cameras, as well as the body cameras each LUPD officer wears, can discredit the legitimacy of these statements.

On two occasions this weekend, Shupp said LUPD swiped into fraternity houses. He said the officers had probable cause for both entrances.

In one case, Shupp said a security guard observed fraternity members playing drinking games inside their chapter house, which is against university policy. No citations were issued.

In the case of Kappa Alpha, Shupp said members were throwing glass beer bottles off the second floor of their house. When LUPD responded, the men fled into the house, giving the officers probable cause to enter in after them.

Four members of Kappa Alpha involved in the incident were breathalyzed. Only one was issued a citation for disorderly conduct, according to the Lehigh crime log.

Similar to swiping into Greek houses, Shupp said officers only breathalyze students if they have probable cause to do so, which can range from students stumbling down the street to an odor on their breath. Refusing to take a PBT will result in a citation.

Shupp said in many cases, students can benefit from a PBT “as long as it’s a low reading and the person is not a danger to themselves or others.” He said if the test reads around .02 or .03, the student won’t receive a citation. If students refuse to take the test and officers are unsure of their blood alcohol contents, Shupp said they are more likely to be transported to the hospital.

In addition to the nine hazing reports, Ashley Baudouin, the assistant dean and director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, wrote in an email there have been more than 60 fraternity- and sorority-related incidents, which can include everything from fire alarms, noise complaints, public urination, hazing reports, social policy violations and alcohol transports. She said the volume of incidents is up in general.  

On Feb. 17, the IFC executive board met with Baudouin, the assistant dean and director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and Corey Grant, the assistant director of OFSA and the IFC adviser.

At this meeting, Mark DiMaggio, ’17, vice president of IFC, said Baudouin and Grant informed the IFC executive board that six to eight fraternities were under investigation for hazing allegations, national infractions and other conduct issues. DiMaggio said Baudouin had been fielding concerns from President John Simon, dean of students Chris Mulvihill and the board of trustees in addition to the parent concerns.

Baudouin warned IFC there would be increased police force on and off campus, and OFSA would be looking into any allegations of hazing.

“What (Baudouin) made aware to us was that if our actions and our behavior continued, there would perhaps at some point be a suspension of IFC fraternities in general,” DiMaggio said.

After the meeting, the IFC executive board sent an email out to fraternity presidents and intended for the email to be shared with all general members. In it, they encouraged all fraternities to reevaluate their new member education programs to make sure their programs aligned with the university code of conduct and their fraternity’s national values.

Although only two fraternities are currently suspended by the school  Delta Chi and Sigma Phi Epsilon  DiMaggio said the possibility of suspending all IFC fraternities is not off the table.

“How we’re treating it as an executive board, along with presidents, is that it could happen at any moment, and that’s not just particular to this moment in time,” DiMaggio said. “That could happen next semester or two semesters from now. So what’s most important to us right now is that we address the current problems that we’re facing and that’s clearly right now new member education, hazing and conduct with our new members.”

Shupp agreed with the primary message of Farrell’s email that the university’s main goal is to keep students safe.

“Someone just died at Penn State,” Shupp said. “They’re not going to die on my watch. I’ll do what I need to do to make sure it’s a safe environment, and I hope students would respect that.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the two chapters that have been suspended by the university. A previous version stated Chi Phi was placed on suspension by Lehigh. Instead, the fraternity’s new member activities were temporarily suspended by the Chi Phi National Office. Additionally, information and clarification provided by Ashley Baudouin has been included in the article.

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4 Comments

  1. Shupp himself admits to lining up students and breathalyzing them in addition to raiding multiple fraternities. This is contradictory to Provost Patrick V. Farrell’s letter stating: “Reports that Greek chapters are being ‘raided,’ or that students are being ‘lined up and forced to submit to breathalyzer tests’ are also not true.” This university is truly a corrupt mess!

  2. Chi phi is not suspended. Their new member education program is suspended from nationals. There is nothing decreed unto them from the university. The email sent on Tuesday stating that the university has not been breathalyzing or raiding frats is completely uncredited due to this update. They did in fact do both of those things. Although they only swiped into houses on two occasions, they’ve been snooping around and coming up to the house fronts and backs confronting kids. Next, the reason for cops swiping into KA is unbelievable. Of course the students went inside after seeing the police. I don’t know what you expect them to do. Just stand there and stare at the ground? There’s no probable cause to follow them. Lastly, anonymous reports of hazing does not constitute the university to assume every fraternity is doing it. That’s absurd. Anyone can submit those reports, and if they’re real, they’re probably specific to the frat the may or may not have done it. The behavior and actions from the lehigh police is unacceptable. The report cites the death at penn state for reason to swipe into every fraternity for hazing. The kid died from a fall at a party, not from deliberate hazing or making him drink excessive amounts of alcohol. You can’t just cite someone’s death in relation to a fraternity as a reason to swipe in as you please. That’s like arguing that hundreds of young men were shot by police officers last year so I think it’s completely unacceptable to allow them in my home without any real reason to be there. Get your facts straight and your act together lehigh. You’re an obvious mess organizationally and the victims are the students. They feel harassed and intimidated by the police force, and the university completely denied their actions.

  3. Susan Magaziner on

    Good afternoon, As you may know, Lehigh is under federal monitoring by the U.S. Department of Education and has an active open Clery file. I am the Complainant. As such, over the last three plus years I have provided testimony from students to the federal authorities that addresses harassment, intimidation, discrimination and marginalization of many protected populations at Lehigh. In this testimony, provided both verbally and in documents, many students, faculty, staff and others report personal history of these experiences. Among these are reports of police abuse of students. Most often the incidents involve police targeting, profiling, taunting and harassing those of minority populations. Students report being forced to their knees to be breathalyzed, taken in police cruisers for interrogation, being harassed into waiving Miranda for questioning and other tactics of intimidation such as calling students cell phones repeatedly with threats. One student wrote to President Simon and to,d the story of his “persecution” by Lehigh PD. Another called Lehigh “Brave New World” and another said he was followed to his dorm by police for illegal search and seizure. Nothing was found, but days later he was charged with drug possession, because it was suspected. Last week the President of a fraternity was interrogated by police and made by force and intimidation to waive Miranda. He did so under threat of being charged with being uncooperative in an investigation. Reports that are now coming out regarding fraternities incidents and fraternity presence at Lehigh is nothing new, it is just in a larger scale and it now shines its light on a different targeted population: Greeks.

    Please know that what is being discussed in these posts and other social media has been an ongoing pattern and practice of abuse, mistreatment and entrapment by the LUPD that has been reported to federal officials, President Simon and the Brad Eric Scheler and the Board Of Trustees for the three plus years that I have been a federal Complainant. This is nothing new, it is just more wide spread and now effects the most treasured tradition of Lehigh, our Greek life and the history of Brotherhood.

    To what the Lehigh community has concerns over, this has all been reported. The administration is well aware of what is going on, and it is continuing– which means that it is supported and condoned.

    The bigger picture, Lehigh is under federal heat. The federal authorities continue to monitor Lehigh due to the fact that every week I continue to report what no one can even imagine, as it is continually reported to me. Lehigh has hired a Crisis Management firm to mitigate damage, and it is critical that the school posture as “responsive”. The email sent to Greeks speaks to suspension and charging individuals. The next spin report in the B&W reports increased police presence, and the next tells of a rise in parent phone calls and “anonymous” hazing reports. So last week there were none and this week there were conveniently 9 “anonymously placed reports of “hazing” to police that provided “probably cause”.

    Last week I wrote to the Corporal to thank him for his service in saving a life at Delta Chi. Our police are there to protect and serve. But make no mistake, when the Organization has its reputation and is at great liability of federal civil suits, it will stop at nothing. The police department is acting on orders from the Office of General Counsel and the Crisis Management Team retained. It’s all drama threatre created in purposeful execution to get out of whatever mess they are in. A few fraternity casualties such as some Chapter Presidents serving as scapegoats for the better of the Organization will long be forgotten. President Simon is being told he must allow what you are experiencing to happen, for Lehigh and her reputation are on the line. If a school does not comply with the Office for Civil Rights within timelines, the school can be brought to federal court for failure to provide a safe and non hostile educational environment.

    Members and former members of the LUPD have written to President Simon and the Board very upset about this police behavior. Remember, the policeman that are raiding you, lining you up, and violating your rights are under direct order and fear losing their jobs. They feel as badly about what they are being told to do as you feel about them doing it. These are the same police officers who would save your life. The problem is not Chief Schupp or the LUPD, the problem is legal, and those in General Counsel who advise Simon and Scheler on what must be done to mitigate liability in civil suit.

    I have alerted federal authorities to repeated and increased reports of police harassment and student violations, I have contacted all National fraternities to advise of greater scope. All fraternity Presidents should be aware that they may face individual criminal charges as have others. Lehigh runs on probable cause and a preponderance of evidence standard of proof. Keep your heads down students and be wise about your decisions. Do what is right, call for help if someone is in danger, and end all activities that could be construed as violations. Right now, you are under the spotlight, and no one needs to be a casualty of Lehigh’s war with itself.

    Again, if you need assistance or wish to report harassment or hostile environment our federal authorities can be contacted Re: Lehigh Docket No 03142021—-
    [email protected], [email protected], Office for Civil Rights
    [email protected], [email protected], Clery Campus Crime and Police

    • Thank you for your work with protecting students! Although, my question is to what extent is the intimidation and adversarial relationship between LUPD and students an issue relating to the LUPD itself and its leadership? Knowing from personal experience as well as hearing from other students, the police adopt a system in which they see all students as potential criminals and therefore chose to work against and not with students. Is this all a result of Lehigh’s Office of General Counsel and the Crisis Management, or is also partly a result of the LUPD leadership itself?

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