Kappa Sigma fraternity will be shut down at the end of the academic year by their national governing body, according to Associate Dean of Students for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Travis Apgar. He added that the chapter would cease to be recognized by the University. The fraternity will be closed after violating sanctions that were imposed on them by their national organization just over a year and a half ago.
Apgar said that approximately a year and a half ago, Kappa Sigma was found in violation of their national organization’s “risk management policy” and were told that they could no longer host events with alcohol, among other sanctions. When they violated this order sometime afterward, their national organization placed them under a “trusteeship,” which required them to have any events approved by a regional manager from the national organization, according to Apgar.
Apgar said that the fraternity, however, violated this sanction too. He said that a couple of weeks ago, Kappa Sigma hosted a party with alcohol without alerting their regional manager or registering it with the Interfraternity Council — in violation of both their national’s sanctions and IFC regulations. When the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs found out, they alerted the chapter’s national, who decided to shut them down.
While leaders in the chapter do not dispute these facts, they did express disappointment at how their national governing body found out about the incident.
At their most recent party, a fire alarm went off and the fire department came to investigate. Rather than allow the OFSA to learn about the incident themselves, the fraternity came forward and told the OFSA. Kappa Sigma President Eduardo Garcia ’11 said that he was assured by Assistant Dean of Students Kara Miller that the OFSA would not alert the national governing body about the party unless a judicial hearing was held.
Though no hearing was ever scheduled, Garcia received an e-mail shortly after from the chapter’s national governing body that they would be closed down.
“We were blindsided,” Garcia said. “The OFSA didn’t even have the decency to send us an e-mail telling us that they were planning on alerting national.”
Apgar, however, denied that the agreement ever took place, adding, “It was not something I was ever aware of.” Miller could not be reached for comment.
In any case, the fraternity will likely remain closed for at least the next few years, though Apgar said that he believed the fraternity would be back, just “not in the immediate future.”
“This chapter has been around for many years and there are a lot of people who have put a lot of time and money into it, I think it will eventually be back,” he stated.
This one came almost out of the blue. I began to suspect something was up when I began to see facebook statuses yesterday from Kappa Sigs I know expressing sympathy for the chapter (my first thought was that there was a casuality of some sort). But this…Kappa Sigma was to my knowledge a fairly well-respected, low-key chapter. I don’t think anyone would’ve seen this coming.
Speaking as someone from a chapter whose national and local always seemed to have had strained relations, I am strongly sympathetic towards the Kappa Sigs sudden shutdown, but it doesn’t seem it came without its warnings. The decision to throw a party when you could be shut down for doing so is incredibly irresponsible. But I’m also appalled by the OFSA though. While Travis Apgar is head of the office, Kara Miller is usually the primary contact for houses. For her to give her word and for Apgar to notify the national either means there was horrific miscommunication or someone just got the shaft. Whatever the case, this has been handled poorly and is a big breach of trust between chapters and the OFSA. I wonder if they did it anyway as a show of force to prove that they could put the hammer down on unruly chapters. Regardless, poor display of authority, and poor decision-making on Kappa Sigma’s part.