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International HQ revokes Kappa Sigma fraternity’s charter

Kappa Sigma International Memorial Headquarters has revoked the Beta Iota chapter’s charter, citing a failure to honor a commitment to assist with the installation of the Kutztown University chapter, as well as a second violation of the Kappa Sigma Code of Conduct.

The decision, which is effective immediately, leaves the chapter members as alumni members in good standing, but requires that all chapter activities cease and that members no longer be able to participate in any Kappa Sigma activities.

“Although the impact of this decision is compounded by its timing, we accept the judgment of the Kappa Sigma Headquarters and will work with our students and alumni to comply,” says Vice Provost for Student Affairs John Smeaton. “Chapter members are first and foremost Lehigh students and our top priority is to help them through this difficult transition.

“Lehigh staff have met with chapter members and offered assistance, and we will work to get the 34 brothers who live in the Kappa Sigma chapter house relocated as soon as possible in order to get them settled and refocused on their academic priorities this semester.”

According to Kappa Sigma Headquarters, the recent violations—along with the chapter’s history of risk management violations, including a time where the fraternity’s charter was put into Trusteeship—caused the chapter’s leadership to be summoned to a “show cause” hearing in Albuquerque, N.M. It was at that hearing on Saturday that the Lehigh chapter learned of the decision to revoke their charter, which results in the loss of housing privileges and loss of recognition as a fraternity.

Anyone with questions about the decisions made by the Kappa Sigma International Memorial Headquarters may contact them at (434) 295-3193 for more details.

Kappa Sigma will be eligible to apply for reinstatement in the future in accordance with Lehigh’s procedures for re-colonization. Per the policy enacted as a result of the Strengthening Greek Life Task Force recommendations, the university will evaluate the Greek system annually and determine when to invite applications for expansion.

Kappa Sigma would be eligible to apply for recognition along with any other formerly recognized Lehigh chapters at such time that the university extends an invitation for applications.

To learn more about Lehigh’s Continuity Policy, visit the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Web site.

“A strong and healthy Greek system is an asset to Lehigh’s campus. It is the reason we undertook the Strengthening Greek Life initiative, and it is why we work so closely with all of Lehigh’s chapters throughout the year,” Smeaton says. “We want our students to have a positive living and learning environment, and we work in partnership with undergraduate and alumni leaders who are deeply committed to seeing Lehigh’s Greek system become one of the finest in the country.

“We certainly hope that when the time is right, that Kappa Sigma will again be able to join the Lehigh Greek community.”

In keeping with the spirit of openness that has been crucial to the success of the Strengthening Greek Life efforts, the university is working, in cooperation with the Kappa Sigma International Memorial Headquarters, to keep all involved groups apprised of the situation.

--Sarah Cooke

Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007

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