The Office of Undergraduate Judicial Affairs notified Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority Wednesday that the organization, and several of its individual members, will be charged with violations of various College standards of conduct.
The charges brought against the sorority will include causing or threatening to cause harm to new members of the organization, hazing, alcohol policy infractions and violation of the sorority’s terms of probation, according to a statement issued by Acting Associate Dean of the College Mary Liscinsky.
The alleged offenses committed by the individual members, the number of members charged, and other personal information have been held by the College in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The charges are the result of an investigation following the Oct. 9 new member event at an Enfield, N.H., rollerskating rink that resulted in the arrest of 11 members. On that Monday night, an ambulance and the police were called by older members because several new members were highly intoxicated.
Director of UJA April Thompson said that the charges against the sorority would be heard by the Organizational Adjudication Committee and that the Committee on Standards would handle the charges against the individuals. Both committees will be independent in their arbitration, as well as in their respective decisions about any possible consequences.
“We’re at an allegations stage, which is a very early stage,” Thompson said. “The OAC will be informed by precedent. That’s what will guide the committee, that’s what will guide their decisions if the organization is found to be responsible.”
Thompson also praised the members who called 911 on behalf of their intoxicated peers, calling the action “a really amazing and courageous decision.”
Liscinsky stated that the Good Samaritan Policy may apply to the members who were hospitalized during the incident. The Office of the Dean of the College will judge whether or not the policy applies to this incident, which occurred far from campus. Acting Dean of the College Dan Nelson said he believes the spirit of the policy applies, though it would be rare to employ the policy in an off campus incident.
“The College’s standards of conduct apply to students on and off campus, and in crafting and refocusing, over the years, the College’s Good Samaritan policy, that attention and focus is really on student safety,” Nelson said. “We believe strongly that the policy should apply to students whether they call from the basement of a fraternity, the floor of a residential hall or some space off campus.”
If the Good Samaritan policy is cited, the organization and its members could be freed of alcohol violations, though charges such as hazing could remain.
Nelson also praised the members for calling 911.
“One of the best things that happened in this otherwise very unfortunate situation is that somebody called for help for students who needed it,” he said. “It’s important for students to do that and I’m very pleased that that happened in this case, as troubled and concerned as I am about the rest of the reports about what might have happened that evening.”
Thompson went on to emphasize that the charges are by no means an implication of the organization’s guilt.
“I wouldn’t want the community to point fingers,” she said. “There are a lot of questions that need to be asked and the organization needs to talk to a committee about the answers to those questions.”
Kappa President Whitney Dickerson ’07 did not return phone calls for comment.