Office of Student Conduct investigates two suspended fraternities
The office handles all disciplinary action when fraternities commit infractions. IFC does not hold enforcement powers.
Oct. 19, 2016
Unless the Office of Student Conduct concludes investigations into alleged violations within the next two weeks, Delta Upsilon and Kappa Alpha Order will not walk in the Homecoming Parade on Oct. 22.
Because of reported misconduct, the university temporarily suspended the official recognition of both houses. While suspended, organizations cannot use university facilities or amenities or participate in university activities, MU spokesman Christian Basi said. For Greek chapters, this includes Homecoming.
Basi said the suspensions do not have any specified time limit, but for the DU and KA cases, the length of the suspension will depend on how long the investigation takes.
“In this case, there is an investigation taking place, so the suspension will probably hinge on the results of that investigation,” he said. “There is no specific timeline.”
Depending on what is found during the investigation, the organization may be subject to long-term conditions or sanctions. Basi said the university is able to issue warnings and make recommendations that, if not followed, can lead to loss of recognition as a school-affiliated organization.
“The ultimate enforcement is the university not recognizing the organization, which means they cannot permanently utilize any of our facilities or take part in any of our activities as an organization,” he said. “So, when we recommend that an action be taken, we can always impose additional sanctions if those actions are not taken.”
Disciplinary actions like suspensions are handled by the Office of Student Conduct, which has specific rules and procedures for when incidents of misconduct are reported.
First, a primary administrative officer or an appointee of the office investigates the allegations of misconduct. That officer decides whether any disciplinary procedures should take place.
If they decide that further actions are necessary, Student Conduct holds a preliminary meeting with the accused student or organization. At that meeting, students can choose to accept consequences through an informal disposition, which allows students or organizations to forgo a formal disciplinary process by accepting charges then.
If the student or organization does not accept the sanctions suggested after the preliminary meeting, formal procedures will commence. A hearing panel, a committee appointed by the vice chancellor for student affairs, will review the case. The panels, according to Office of Student Conduct policies, consist of at least five people, up to two of whom can be students.
The accused has the right to request the presence of members of the student panel. Up to three of these appointees can be present at the hearing and maintain the same rights and powers as other members of the panel.
The panel controls consequences given to the accused. Although the Office of Student Conduct can consult student committees and boards, it is the sole issuer of disciplinary actions to fraternities. Student groups, such as the Interfraternity Council, do not have authority when its member chapters are accused of misconduct.
“What the Interfraternity Council does is we just govern over 32 chapters, so we can’t necessarily give disciplinary action to any of the members that were said to be involved in the incident,” said Jacob Farkas, vice president of public relations for IFC.
However, when IFC is informed of sanctions against member chapters, Farkas said the organization follows protocol to respond to the incident. After talking to the members involved in the alleged misconduct, IFC contacts the national organization of the fraternity the students are members of, as well as the National Interfraternity Council.
Ultimately, IFC works with affiliated bodies to gather enough information to write a statement to release to the public about the misconduct.
Edited by Emily Gallion | firstname.lastname@example.org