Hazing means an act by an individual or a group that, as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation to, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group or organization, regardless of consent.
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There's been a lot of buzz surrounding the suspension of Kappa Sigma on campus, but a lot of what people are being told isn't fully true.
On January 15, 2021, Kappa Sig received a notice of interim suspension of activities. LSU and Student Advocacy and Accountability had evidence that supported accounts of hazing and violation of COVID guidelines.
This story had been pretty quiet all semester until last week, when a letter was sent to Kappa Sigma regarding their suspension. This gained a lot of people’s attention, but it’s important to note that Kappa Sig wasn’t suspended last week. The letter was just sent to update the chapter on the ongoing investigation.
The letter, sent by the Division of Student Affairs and Student Advocacy and Accountability, also listed the alleged offenses committed by the chapter.
It was noted that while a plan was being drafted to address the concerns, the university learned of even more alleged violations. These charges included, in addition to the previously mentioned accounts, hosting a three-day event in Houston, which violated the university’s policies and COVID directives.
Finally, the letter outlined all the offenses as well as defined terms like hazing and coercive behavior. According to Interfraternity Council President Navy Coggins, these are not new concepts to chapters. They all have to undergo hazing training, and they are constantly updated on university protocol.
“All the chapters are no strangers to these conversations, and we keep having them," Coggins said. "We keep addressing them, and I think what we do moving forward is just we keep being accountable. We trust the university and SAA to handle it how they will.”
Student Body Vice President-Elect Abbie Grace Milligan said in a recent interview that while Greek Life is a vital part of LSU’s campus, the new student government administration will not tolerate hazing and rule violations of any kind.
“We have a very no-tolerance policy for hazing and racism of any kind to infiltrate Greek life because that is not what we strive to represent, and that is not what we should represent on this campus,” Milligan said.
Even with all the effort being put into Greek life, chapters still can’t seem to always get it right.
“Every time I hear about hazing allegations, it just breaks my heart hearing about it, knowing the good that the Greek community can do,” Coggins said.
While the Greek Life community has done a great deal of good in the past, it’s no secret that some affiliates tend to take matters a bit too far. We saw through the Phi Psi incident last semester the dangers of hazing.
The university hasn’t made any official statement regarding Kappa Sig’s suspension, but LSU Media Relations Professional Ernie Ballard said “Organizations know the penalties for violating protocols, and if there are found to do so, they will be held accountable.”
Coggins hopes that in time, the penalties imposed on Greek Life will cause positive change in the community. He’s also open to working with the new Student Government administration on a plan to implement a points-based system that would reward Greek organizations for good things they do while also punishing them for violating the rules.
“I hope that it serves as an example for other chapters to see to be like ‘Hey. These are things that we can and cannot do,’" Coggins said.
"I know a lot of the allegations were regarding the COVID policies, and so I know with a lot of confusion and the changing of rules and regulations and regulations and stuff...you know, we’re working hard to keep chapters updated on all of that information,” he continued.
Kappa Sigma has a meeting with Student Advocacy and Accountability set for April 8, where they will review the findings of the investigation and designate an official punishment. To stay updated on this developing story by following our YouTube and socials.
To view the Greek Scorecard, click here.
For more information on how to prevent hazing, click here.