Greek chapters temporarily suspended, under investigation
Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity have been temporarily suspended pending investigations, according to Rina Clarke, Student Life coordinator and Greek life adviser.Clarke said both chapters have been inactive for approximately a month. The University has no timeline for when a decision will be made to reinstate the chapters or continue the suspension.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is under investigation for a possible hazing incident, and Phi Beta Sigma was investigated as a result of the altercation after the Step Show afterparty on Feb. 20.
The investigation of Alpha Kappa Alpha resulted from a fight between two women in Babington Hall on Feb. 28, according to Craig Jaccuzzo, director of University Police.
Steve Tullis, investigating officer, said the fight occurred because some clothes and other items that were taken from one of the women during the alleged hazing had not been returned. A disciplinary summons was issued to both women for the fight.
"We conducted an investigation into the fight that led us to believe that hazing may have taken place during sorority initiation week. This fight broke the investigation open once we began interviewing the victim," Jaccuzzo said.
He said the possible hazing incident occurred both on- and off-campus at private residences in Thibodaux. Jaccuzzo refrained from commenting on details of the allegations because of the ongoing investigation.
According to Jaccuzzo, five females were issued misdemeanor summonses as a result of the investigation, including Heba Algazzar, marketing junior from Thibodaux; Christina Berry, mass communication senior from Illinois; Kendra Lovincy, business administration senior from Thibodaux; Ashleigh Milligan, education junior from New Orleans; and Dewana Span, fall 2000 graduate from Thibodaux. Jaccuzzo said Jessica Allen, accounting senior from Thibodaux, and Latranda Hills, spring graduate candidate from Boutte, were issued misdemeanor summons on April 7 in connection with investigation.
University Police is still trying to secure all evidence of the case. Because hazing is considered a misdemeanor, University Police has sent the case files to Thibodaux city court and will continue to forward supplemental evidence to the court, Tullis said.
"Once we write the summons it's in the hands of the district attorney. The charges could be amended or even thrown out. Sometimes we don't even know about the results if we aren't subpoenaed to testify," he said.
According to the Code of Student Conduct, "hazing in state colleges and universities is a violation of the law and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment, as well as dismissal from the University."
Judy Daniels, Dean of Student Life, said that the University and Alpha Kappa Alpha's regional director decided to temporarily suspend the group until the investigation is complete, meaning the group is not allowed to conduct activities in the name of the organization.
Daniels said the decision to temporarily suspend Phi Beta Sigma was because individual members of that group initiated the post-step show fight. Misdemeanor and disciplinary summonses were issued to involved individuals. City court will handle misdemeanor summonses. Tullis said he has received a subpoena to testify on June 13. Disciplinary summonses are handled through the University Discipline Committee. Daniels said the members involved have gone before University Discipline Committee, but no final decision about the chapter has been made.
"We are still investigating issues not directly involved with this fight that I am not free to discuss at this time," Daniels said.
Daniels said that when serious allegations are brought up against a Greek organization, several staff members are called in to evaluate the future of the organization. "The judicial office, Rina Clarke, Eugene Dial (Vice President for Student Affairs) and I are involved in making the decisions and looking at the seriousness of the facts, the history of the group and whether anyone was hurt. A lot of things are taken into consideration when deciding whether the organization should return to its active status and when," Daniels said.
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