KENT, OH -- Kent State University has suspended the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity for three years following an investigation into a hazing complaint.
The university sent the fraternity a letter explaining that it would not recognize the fraternity for two years because of the incident, then add an additional year "as a result of a review of the recent history of violations that have resulted in social probation and other investigations of misconduct related to membership intake activity."
"Every Greek organization is given a list of policies that they need to adhere to for social functions, other activities on campus at certain times," said Kent State University Spokesman Eric Mansfield.
University regulations for recognized student activities clearly spell out, "Conduct all activities in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University, as well as the policies of the organization's international office, including, but not limited to, those provisions prohibiting conduct which substantially invades the rights, freedoms and privacy of others or conduct, which is intended to or has the likelihood of injuring a person, property and/or the harmonious relationship between the University and the surrounding community."
On the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity's national website, the organization also strongly decries hazing of any kind.
In a published policy statement, Kappa Alpha Psi states, "The Fraternity has not only outlawed pledging, but bans from its membership those who submit to such a vile process."
The policy statement also says the following of its members who break the rule:
Some wayward members of the Fraternity, who do not subscribe to our motto of achievement, have elected, in open defiance of the rules and regulations of the Fraternity, to conduct underground pledging and engage in acts of hazing and other prohibited acts in clear violation of Fraternity rules and criminal statues of the various states. Such members' criminal behavior is repugnant to all for which the Fraternity stands and such members are renegades, not wanted and clearly deserve, because of their behavior, to forfeit their membership in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity."
Mansfield says the local Kappa Alpha Psi chapter did not have a house on campus.
At the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, which has a campus house in the Greek Village, few members had even heard of them.
Luke Marzec of Kappa Sigma says he gets frustrated by the stereotype some people have of fraternities and sororities.
"It's a lot more than guys getting together and binge drinking and doing stupid things. It's an actual community. We support each other, we help each other," said Marzec.
"I would expect any man should join a fraternity to be a gentleman first and foremost of them to recognize that we are all here for school and it's not just about parties and drinking and stuff like that," said Christian Euilinberg, also a member of Kappa Sigma.
Fraternity and sorority members we spoke with on campus all say it is clearly understood that the university prohibits hazing.
"At Kent, there's a strict no hazing policy, like at different campuses, there's different policies. But at Kent, there's strictly no hazing at all. So like, we can't even have a new members scavenger hunt because that's considered hazing. So anything that new members have to do that actives don't, that's hazing," said Julie Remus of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority.
"They (Kappa Alpha Psi members) are still students on campus, but they can no longer operate as a fraternity," explained Mansfield. "They can't reserve a room for a meeting, they can't take part in fairs or other activities. They can't hold functions on campus, they no longer exist as far as being a student organization on campus now that they have been suspended.
The University says the suspended fraternity can re-apply for recognition in May 2016 when it will have to provide documentation in compliance with Kent State's obligations.