OSI explains Greek sanctions

Photo by Brenda Lin

During the semester, Greek organizations sometimes become involved in unlawful or negative activity that requires consequential actions.

In order of increasing severity, the sanctions available for student organizations are warnings, specific restrictions, probation, suspension held in abeyance, interim suspension and most severely, expulsion.

The Office of Student Integrity (OSI), which oversees individual and organization activity on campus and issues sanctions, takes different factors into consideration before they reach decision on consequences for negative Greek activity.

“It’s not like we say that certain actions result in specific consequences,” said Peter Paquette, Director of OSI. “It is really the severity of what’s occurred and so questions that we would ask when we are deciding if groups need to be suspended is balancing needs of the group and campus, whether there is a risk in keeping them here or a history or do we feel like we can mediate behavior other ways. We really try to balance the campus, safety and the severity.”

Fraternities sometimes have direct or indirect involvements with negative or unlawful activity, such as vandalism, theft, distribution of alcohol to students under 21 and public disturbances through various means. Despite these
incidents, Tanner Marcantel, Director of Greek Affairs, states that good comes from these groups.

“Fraternities and sororities are student organizations that provide a home environment for their members,” Marcantel said. “They offer friendship, emotional support, and academic enrichment for their membership. Members of fraternities and sororities are afforded the opportunity to participate in intramural sports, campus-wide events, philanthropic efforts and community service projects. Last year Greek organizations gave 56,589 hours of their time to service work and donated $514,113 to charities.”

Concerning the improvement of student activity under Greek houses, Marcantel further states that Tech continuously interacts with Greek organizations to prevent negative activity.

“Tech is committed to holding all organizations accountable for any activities that are found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and due process is followed to allow the students or student organizations a fair outcome,” Marcantel said. “Situations have occurred that resulted in OSI investigating and taking appropriate action, but Tech works with the fraternities and sororities very closely to educate members about issues before they become a Code of Conduct violation.”

With respect to Kappa Alpha’s suspension due to hazing, Paquette states that it was the right punishment. He also says that students can use conversation as a way to stop bad situations from occurring.

“I feel like it was an appropriate punishment,” Paquette said. “Across the country there have been unfortunate instances with fraternities and sororities, and I think that it often call for dialogue. Quite frankly, I think students should be the ones driving it and saying what they want to be happening on their campus or not. Students have a lot of ability to shape the culture of this place look like.”

On a regular basis, Greek groups, as well as other organizations, are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct and investigations are held to hold individuals and, in some cases, entire groups that are responsible for any violations in question.