Lehigh’s chapter of The Kappa Alpha Society lost its university recognition after receiving an Unaccredited rating for a second consecutive year.
Its 2017-18 accreditation report issued by the university stated a lack of improvement in the culture of general members, especially in regard to disciplinary issues.
Kappa Alpha’s inability to improve on its outcomes from the 2016-17 year resulted in its automatic loss of recognition as per policies enacted by the Strengthening Greek Life Task Force in 2003-04. The relevant policy states a “chapter that receives an Unaccredited rating for two consecutive academic years loses University recognition and access to group housing.”
The accreditation panel in charge of the decision consisted of student, alumni and staff members. Ricardo Hall, the vice provost of Student Affairs, subsequently reviewed and accepted the panel’s findings.
Kappa Alpha’s loss of recognition fits into a broader trend of the diminishing presence of Greek life on Lehigh’s campus. Five chapters — four fraternities and one sorority — have lost recognition since July 2017.
The announcement from the Lehigh Greeks blog addressed this reality by asserting “the fraternity and sorority experience is at a critical crossroads — nationally and locally.” The statement also called for radical vision and leadership.
While Lehigh still remains the home to 14 fraternities and 11 sororities, it is unclear whether these dissolutions represent changing standards for the system. Kappa Alpha’s loss of recognition as a result of an accreditation report was the first since 2014, when Lambda Chi Alpha was dissolved immediately after receiving an Unacceptable rating, one step below Unaccredited and the lowest possible distinction.