Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity have been placed on administrative suspension by the university as of earlier this semester.
The investigations surrounding both chapters center around hazing allegations that came within the first week of classes. According to the Salisbury University website, ZTA was suspended back on Jan. 29, followed by the suspension for Kappa Alpha Psi on Feb. 6.
Both of the suspensions correlate with reports on the Salisbury University Police crime beat. According to the crime beat, on the night of Jan. 27, there was a report of possible hazing off-campus among an SU sorority.
With cases such as this, the university typically issues an immediate administrative suspension and allows SUPD to carry out an investigation if they feel one is needed.
Coordinator of Student Life Jennifer Hanner outlined the process involving a report of inappropriate new member activities beginning with the suspension as well as notifying the national organizations and local involved parties.
“If [SUPD] does feel that they need to do an investigation then we basically pause our whole process,” Hanner said. “Following their investigation they will turn over a report with their findings … and we will start a conduct process from that point.”
The SUPD crime beat details each report’s status as well, with the report of the sorority hazing being listed as “unfounded.” That status update according to Hanner means that SUPD’s investigation has finished and the university will soon begin its conduct investigation.
The second report came on Feb. 5, which was a reported allegation of hazing involving a fraternity also occurring off campus, and that report still has an open status while SUPD finishes its investigation into the claims.
According to SU’s website, while both chapters are on suspension, they are unable to vote on any fraternity/sorority business or attend council meetings. They also are not permitted to participate in or sponsor any events, whether that be campus-wide or specifically fraternity and sorority life events.
“If organizations are found responsible of serious hazing allegations … then the suspension time is dependent on the severity of the action,” Hanner said. “I want to say that two years is pretty common for a first offense, if it’s a second or more serious offense it could be 5-10 years.”
SU’s website also chronicles past hazing incidents, with at least one every other year since 2013. Two years ago, an organization was placed on probation for one semester after being found responsible, while four years ago, there was an organization on probation for five semesters.
Hanner could not comment in detail about either case regarding the allegations or investigation, especially while both are still ongoing.
By CHASE GORSKI
Featured photo: Scarborough Student Leadership Center on SU's campus (Emma Reider image).