San Diego State University has suspended Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity for three years after a campus investigation determined the organization engaged in hazing during the fall 2003 semester. Four members also are undergoing disciplinary procedures and may face sanctions ranging from probation to expulsion.
"The university has zero tolerance for hazing, and we're particularly concerned with activities that may injure students or put their health at risk," said Dr. James Kitchen, vice president for Student Affairs. "We will hold organizations and individuals accountable for their actions, and this case merits a strong response."
The fraternity's suspension means it will lose all on-campus status privileges until the end of the spring 2007 semester, including participation in university or Associated Students-sponsored events; applying for Associated Students funding or conducting its own fund-raising activities on campus; free or discounted use of university or Associated Students facilities; participation in Greek Week or other social, recreational or recruiting events sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC); the right to vote or hold office in the NPHC; and chapter participation in intramural sports leagues.
In addition, the chapter must meet a number of other conditions prior to reinstatement, such as not allowing members initiated in spring 2003 or before to participate in chapter-related activities while suspended (suspended chapters are still permitted to participate in leadership workshops, community service, and other activities approved by the SDSU Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life); sponsoring a hazing workshop during the 2004-05 year for all NPHC organizations at SDSU, and this workshop must be attended by all Kappa Alpha Psi active and prospective members, plus 60 percent of the total undergraduate membership of SDSU's other NPHC organizations; and having all Kappa Alpha Psi chapter members sign an affidavit indicating they have read, understood and will comply with SDSU's Greek Guidelines policy on hazing.
The investigation, by the university's Center for Student Rights & Responsibilities, concluded the fraternity violated the campus' hazing policies between September 28, 2003 and October 7, 2003 by subjecting prospective members to several forms of physical abuse.
The university will review the suspension's length and terms at the end of the spring 2006 semester.
The fraternity has the right to appeal this decision to Vice President Kitchen in writing by May 13 if it believes the investigation's findings or subsequent sanctions are unreasonable. There is no further level of appeal.
In the Alfred/NCAA survey of college athletes, hazing was defined as:
"any activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers, regardless of the person's willingness to participate. This does not include activities such as rookies carrying the balls, team parties with community games, or going out with your teammates, unless an atmosphere of humiliation, degradation, abuse or danger arises."