Kappa Alpha lost its university recognition after receiving an Unaccredited rating in 2017-18 for the second consecutive year. Lehigh has dissolved five Greek chapters in the past year alone. (Sydney O'Tapi/B&W Staff)

Kappa Alpha Society loses university recognition

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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.

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. “Kappa Alpha’s loss of recognition fits into a broader trend of the diminishing presence of Greek life on Lehigh’s campus.” Seems a bit biased. More appropriate would be: “Kappa Alpha’s loss of recognition fits into a broader trend of the community enforcing its standards for Greek organizations on Lehigh’s campus.” If certain fraternities and sororities can’t meet minimum expectations, whether by continuously facilitating alcohol abuse to the point of hospitalization, perpetuating bad behavior, or otherwise not contributing to the Greek and greater Lehigh community, there’s no reason for them to be at Lehigh.

  2. Current Student on

    Is kicking a house off for academic reasons the best way to deal with these situations? Just because KA had a low GPA and had ignored some minimum GPA rules doesn’t necessarily mean that the boot is the right option. Why should fraternities be the only group held to a minimum GPA requirement (I realize athletes are held to it as well so this applies to them)? No one NEEDS to be in a frat is what one might answer. But no one NEEDS to be in a club. No one NEEDS to be at Lehigh. I believe that if Lehigh held the independent students to the same standard they held the fraternities, there would be a lot less students enrolled.

  3. It should be noted that KA was chartered at Lehigh in 1894. That’s 124 years of continued existent, gone because the current undergraduate brothers couldn’t get it together and change. Too much of fraternity life has become dependent on hosting parties, and the real value and meaning is lost. I’m sure there are a lot of unhappy alumni right now, but before you blame the University, read through their accreditation report. It’s a fair assessment of the chapter’s unwillingness to change their culture. This isn’t the 1980s anymore, actions have consequences and they’re learning this the hard way now.

    • Amy Charles '89 on

      Yep. It’s too bad; I remember when KA had some pretty decent, smart guys there. But absolutely, if you’ve got a culture of rulebreaking, slacking, partying, and causing ruckuses off-campus to the point where the police have to show up, you can’t or won’t clean it up, and you think throwing money = service, you’re a liability, and…well, the 80s did have the right song:

      • Current Student on

        Wait, there was rule breaking and partying at a fraternity??? In college??? Breaking news everyone, call up Amy’s favorite news source Huff Po (or is it BuzzFeed or Vox or Salon?)!

        You know, instead of attacking the students in KA (many of which I am friends with) and calling them all indecent, maybe think with that Lehigh education you were so privileged to get. News flash, people not in fraternities party and drink. If I was deplorable enough (as you are) to toss a whole group of largely innocent people under the bus, I would list out all the clubs and “non-social” groups that throw parties complete with binge-drinking, vomiting, and loud music.

        Oh wait, screwing over those people isn’t part of the agenda.

        Amy, as you seem to be anti-fraternity, what did you do weeknights in college? Did you attend parties? Were they frat parties? Did anyone consume alcohol? I know about Lehigh in the 80s, so don’t try to lie.

        And since your so high and mighty, what service did you do at Lehigh? Did you spend hours organizing large events on the front lawn to raise money for cancer research or the USO?

        I’m sure the answers to these questions will be quite helpful in a discussion about Lehigh and the fraternity culture.

  4. This ‘accreditation’ process is a giant joke. I was on the panel in the recent past and it all boils down to whether these chicks in the greek affairs office like your house or not, which is largely based on whether you genuflect to their pc agenda. Totally subjective. This is just a pretext to further destroy fraternities at Lehigh. To what aim I am not sure. In addition to providing a safe partying experience devoid of driving or irritating locals, the fraternity allows the student to achieve more in all areas of personal development while in college. At least that was my experience. Otherwise I would just have gone to Caltech….

    • Amy Charles '89 on

      Funny thing — this Brock Turner appeal served as a reminder that Brock was also a KA, and when I read that I thought “no, totally wouldn’t be fair to bring that up, because I’m sure lots of KA boys are perfectly nice people, ish, and you wouldn’t want to — ” and then I saw your post.

      • Current Student on

        Sooooo facts are mean? I guess having emotion is more important to these people than facts. But we already knew that…

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