Sororities continue to recover from disciplinary actions

Part 2 of 3: Sororities have faced sanctions from ASU and their own headquarters in the past several years.

This is part two of a three-part series. See parts one and three.

Several ASU sororities have faced disciplinary sanctions from the University and their national organizations in the past few years.

To provide a remedy to these disciplinary problems, the approaches taken by ASU and each sorority’s national organization have differed.

Alpha Kappa Alpha

Some sororities, including Alpha Kappa Alpha and Zeta Phi Beta, had their charters pulled by their national organizations.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Far Western Regional Director LaVern Tarkington said this was the first time the national organization had to take action on the ASU chapter.

Tarkington said she could not elaborate on the details of the chapter’s transgression.

She said closing of Alpha Kappa Alpha at ASU would deter other chapters from similar behavior so the national organization would not have to deal with a similar situation.

“Alpha Kappa Alpha has very clear, strict policies about how our chapters are to function and the members are to present themselves,” she said. “(When) there is something that occurs that requires us to take action, we follow through.”

Kappa Delta

Other sororities, including Kappa Delta and Kappa Kappa Gamma, have faced sanctions from ASU but have received support from their national organizations.

ASU suspended Kappa Delta in December 2010 following a hazing complaint one month prior. Seniors in the sorority allegedly hazed new members at a pre-initiation event.

This suspension ended in January 2012 and Kappa Delta headquarters spokeswoman Heidi Roy said the sorority plans to recolonize at ASU in the future.

Kappa Kappa Gamma

In September 2011, three members of the Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter at ASU were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning after drinking at an apartment complex used byTheta Chi as a fraternity house.

Both Kappa Kappa Gamma and Theta Chi were placed on probation until October 2012. As part of this probation, members of both parties are required to take alcohol education and risk management classes through ASU.

Dave Kennedy, president of College Judicial Consultants, a legal consulting firm for students, said universities tend to treat students in sororities or fraternities different than non-Greek students.

He said any other group of friends would not be held responsible if one of their group members drank to the point of developing alcohol poisoning, nor would supervisors of a campus residence hall be disciplined if one of the hall’s residents drank.

“The transported sisters should face whatever response ASU normally does,” Kennedy said. “But without evidence that Kappa Kappa Gamma at least was grossly negligent in allowing that to happen, I don't think you hold the organization accountable. A lot of schools would, but that doesn't make it right.”

Vice President of Kappa Kappa Gamma International Beth Black said the ASU chapter has made outstanding progress since its probation began, and the international organization will continue to work closely with them in their improvement.

Greek Week

Despite these sanctions, Kappa Kappa Gamma sister and business junior Shay McGrady said Greek life participation has grown during the past several years.

As a sign of this expansion, hundreds of students donned colorful T-shirts and tank tops displaying large Greek letters as part of Greek Week events, which end Sunday.

Greek Week, an annual tradition on the Tempe campus, brings fraternities and sororities together to bond and perform community service for national organizations, according to event organizers.

McGrady said rushing Kappa Kappa Gamma during her freshman year was the best decision of her college career.

“I would not be who I am today if I did not become involved in the Panhellenic Council or within my sorority,” she said.

Reach the reporters at julia.shumway@asu.edu and dgrobmeier@asu.edu or follow @JMShumwayand @danigrobmeier on Twitter.

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