Kappa Sig stays at NU after alcohol incident

Rani Gupta

Kappa Sigma fraternity will remain at Northwestern, though under heavy sanctions, following a February incident that sent an intoxicated freshman pledge to the hospital.

In an e-mail to the fraternity’s listserv, Kappa Sig President Dave Privitera said NU administrators mandated that the house become alcohol-free and ordered the fraternity to adopt a live-in housing director.

Disciplinary probation also will be in effect until Spring 2004 and the house will be required to have a minimum GPA of 3.2, the e-mail read.

William Banis, NU’s vice president for student affairs, gave the fraternity a chance to formulate its own sanctions with the help of Interfraternity Council and Greek Affairs.

Banis did not return repeated calls for comment.

The decision follows a drawn-out effort by the Interfraternity Council to begin instituting self-governance in the Greek system.

Bassel Korkor, IFC risk management chairman, said IFC will use the experience with the Kappa Sig to guide its handling of disciplinary issues in the future.

“When we worked with Kappa Sig to hammer out this proposal, we were simultaneously using it as a model for how we will handle things in the future,” said Korkor, a Weinberg junior.

This incident marks the first time IFC has worked as a liaison between administrators and a fraternity in a disciplinary matter, Korkor said.

Last year, Delta Kappa Epsilon was kicked off campus by administrators for an alcohol-related incident at an off-campus party.

NU’s Sigma Chi chapter was kicked off campus two years ago as punishment from its national fraternity.

Privitera, a Weinberg junior, said the administration took Kappa Sig’s concerns into account when determining the sanctions.

“It wasn’t that we knew what the university wanted, and we just told them what they wanted to hear,” he said.

Privitera said Banis made only minor changes to the guidelines suggested by the fraternity.

“Our original proposal was very close to what we agreed upon,” he said. “There wasn’t anything the university threw in there that hadn’t already been addressed – there were just things that we altered.”

The chapter is taking full responsibility for the event, which involved a “pledge dad hunt” discouraged by the university.

In a statement separate from the email, Privitera said, “Through preventative and proactive measures, as stated in the agreement (with administrators), we, as Epsilon-Delta of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, pledge to make the appropriate changes to our programming and structure so that we may lead by action and serve as example to the rest of the Greek community.”

The statement also said that the fraternity has “fully embraced the severity of (the) situation and assertively addressed our deficiencies.”

Korkor said the incident and its resolution has been a learning process for IFC. He said the organization will focus on preventing hazing as part of its effort to gain self-governance.

“We want to be more preventative,” he said. “When we choose to take things into our own hands, we need to be more responsible for preventing things as well as solving things when they slip through our safeguards.”