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Spring 2014

Chi Psi Fraternity

Description: On March 5, 2014, the Fraternity and Sorority Life Staff received a report of hazing activities involving Chi Psi Fraternity. Sources within the fraternity, whose identities will be kept confidential, reported late night activities at the fraternity house which included being blindfolded, pushed around and yelled at; specific additional cleaning requirements of new members; memorization of large quantities of information not pertaining to legitimate fraternal knowledge; oral quizzes in an atmosphere intentionally created to cause high levels of intimidation.

The fraternity was on Provisional Recognition status, a probationary status, at the times of the report and subsequent hearing for being found responsible for hazing violations the previous year. As a result, the case was heard by the Fraternity and Sorority Review Board.

Outcome: After a thorough review of the facts, the Fraternity and Sorority Review Board unanimously agreed that the fraternity failed to comply with the University Recognition Policy, specifically the section that makes clear that chapters "will not implement or tolerate hazing." The Dean of Students accepted this finding and the recommended consequences, which included the withdrawal of University Recognition and the benefits bestowed.

The fraternity appealed to the Vice President for Student and Academic Services. She upheld the findings of the Review Board, but amended the sanctions to include a two year revocation of recognition, allowing the fraternity an opportunity to apply to return to active status after one year, should the chapter meet the following conditions: 

  1. there is acknowledgement by members of the organization of the inappropriate behavior that occurred this year;
    * In May 2015, former student leaders of the fraternity privately and publicly acknowledged that they were responsible for all acts they had been accused of and apologized.
  2. there is demonstrated leadership among the undergraduates and alumni to advance the understanding of what hazing is under current New York State law and campus policy. (The number of discussions I have had, primarily with alumni and parents that dismiss the severity of mental distress or describe hazing only in terms of physical pain and intoxication, is both frightening and disheartening.) There exist many avenues where such involvement can occur.
    * The fraternity has clear plans to address this broadly with students and alumni, and sustain the education efforts into the future.
  3. there is a publicly stated commitment to the revised, four-week new member program that allows information to be transmitted and bonds to develop but there is no exercise of the power dynamic that is the remnant of the old pledging model. The chapter must use its founding values as fundamental to their activities ... all of their activities. Furthermore, line-ups of any form will cease to exist.
  4. the ten point plan (developed by the fraternity the year prior in response to the hazing violations at that time) is implemented in full.

Following the two years of lost recognition, or a year of lost recognition and a year of probation (if they so qualify), the organization may apply to return to campus. If accepted, they will be eligible to return under provisional recognition status for a period of two years before they may qualify for full recognition status.

Delta Upsilon Fraternity (Interfraternity Council)

Description: On February 24, 2014, Delta Upsilon Fraternity hosted a social event during which students less than 21 years (the legal age to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol in the State of New York) had access to and consumed alcohol. Additionally, the chapter failed to sufficiently monitor the social event, as there were monitors who were supposed to be responsible for regulating the event consuming alcohol; the event had multiple alcohol distribution sites when the Guidelines specify one that is well monitored and regulated; and hard alcohol/liquor was present.  

Outcome: As a result of the chapter's misconduct, the Greek Judicial Board imposed the following: 

  • a fine of $20 per active brother at the time of the event
  • three weeks of social probation starting 9/29/2014 and ending 10/20/2014 – in addition to the suspension of social privileges in the spring
  • one year of disciplinary probation beginning 9/24/2014 and ending 9/23/2015
  •  the timely submission of a copy of the chapter's newly revised internal event management plan to the VP Judicial, Interfraternity Council

Normally the Board would have required educational sanctions, however the chapter has already completed:

  • Wingman 101 (http://www.gannett.cornell.edu/wingman)
  • Risk/Event Management presentation by Cornell University PoliceLegal Liabilities Presentation from a local attorney 
  • GreekLifeEdu.com (http://www.sigmanu.org/programs/online_educational_programs/about_greeklifeedu.php)

Update: The chapter completed all requirements.

Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) Fraternity (Interfraternity Council)

Description: On February 24, 2014, Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) Fraternity held a party at which alcohol was being served to underage individuals. The chapter was found responsible for contributing to the medical transport of a guest who attended the fraternity's event and for providing alcohol to individuals under the age of 21.

Outcome: The chapters received a warning, that in the future the chapter is expected to abide by all event management policies and refrain from providing alcohol to under age individuals. 

The chapter is also required to attend a presentation by the Cornell University EMS regarding proper emergency care and Good Samaritan policies that the chapter should follow. The chapter must attend and provide proof of attendance of this presentation before the end of September 2014.

Update: The chapter complied with all requirements. Cornell EMS provided the educational session.

Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity (Interfraternity Council)

Description: On January 16, 2014, members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity involved in a traffic stop were found in possession of 15 cases and a keg of beer. During questioning, members shared with Cornell Police Officers that the alcohol was intended for a Pi Kappa Phi recruitment event.  

Outcome: The Greek Judicial Board found the chapter responsible for violating the Event Management Guidelines in regards to having an improper recruitment function, intending to make available alcohol, including a common source (a beer keg), during that recruitment function – also a violation of the Recognition Policy specific to the presence of alcohol during recruitment. 

As a result, the chapter was placed on disciplinary probation for one year and issued a warning that any additional recruitment violations would result in the immediate loss of a day of recruitment. 

The Board reminded the chapter that failure to comply with any University rule or regulation during the probationary period could lead directly to review board proceedings in which the chapter's recognition may be brought into question.

Sigma Chi Fraternity (Interfraternity Council)

Description: Over the course of several months the Sigma Chi Fraternity had a number of incidents/events, often social in nature, requiring Cayuga Heights Fire Department and/or Cayuga Heights Police Department to respond to the house, and upon responding, violations of municipal code as well as Cornell Greek Community Policies - Event Management Guidelines & Expectations for Membership, were observed. The Cayuga heights Fire and Police Departments were accommodating, trying to work with the fraternity leaders to rectify the issues, but after the number of repeated incidents, decided that it was time to take a different approach, calling on the Greek Judicial process and the University to collaborate with them to resolve the current culture of safety issues and other problematic behaviors and issues. The following dates and incidents were presented to the Greek Judicial Board.

February 28, 2014: Cayuga Heights Fire Department (CHFD)responded to an alarm activated at 106 Cayuga Heights Road – Sigma Chi Fraternity. When the fire department searched the house, they found over 40 men and women in bedrooms, forcefully holding or locking the doors shut. There were white plastic sheets covering the walls, windows, and doors in the room where the fire alarm was activated. Alcohol and drugs were reported as found at the event.

Cornell University Police later arrived on the scene, per request of CHFD and reported that more than a dozen people remained locked in rooms upstairs and would not answer to his knocks on the door. The Police Officer also recounted a conversation with the chapter president in which the president said that the alarm was going off and the fire department was not responding so he called 911. During this time he said that everyone present initially went outside, but due to the cold, had gone back inside. The Officer also stated that when he asked attendees how old they were, they admitted to being under 21 and that they had been drinking alcohol.

March 22, 2014: A Chestnut Security Guard, hired by the Interfraternity Council to provide oversight monitoring for registered social events reported to Cornell Police that he observed multiple safety violations when he conducted his site inspection of the social event at Sigma Chi Fraternity, including fire hazards. He also explained that he observed what appeared to be members carrying an intoxicated partygoer out of the house.

April 12, 2014: The Office of Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living received a report from Cayuga Heights Police Department (CHPD) who went to the Sigma Chi house to investigate a noise complaint. The Officer reported that music could be heard from outside the residence and that there were people outside the residence consuming alcohol. The Officer asked a member to turn the music down and when it was not, he asked the president to turn the music down. The president and the Officer then proceeded to the patrol car and the Officer asked if the event was registered to which the president informed him that it was parents' weekend function and did not have to be registered. At this time, a male came to the car and asked why the music was shut off and stated that he wanted it back on. When the Officer denied his request, the male asked for the name and badge number of the Officer, which was provided. The male later returned to the car with two other people and once again requested the Officer's information and they regarded the Officer in a manner which the Officer described as confrontational. While there, the Officer did not observe any sober monitors or individuals checking
IDs.

August 23, 2014: The Office of Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living received a report from Cayuga Heights Police Department that the CHFD had been dispatched to the Sigma Chi house in response to a fire alarm at the residence. Officers on the scene observed a party and saw that the alarm appeared to be activated by beer or champagne sprayed into the head of the detector in the basement party room. Officers had not been aware of an approved party at that time.

Outcome: As a result of the chapter's collective misconduct the following sanctions will be imposed: 

  • social probation from 10/15/2014 until 10/29/2014
  • disciplinary probation from 10/15/2014–10/14/2015
  •  copies of the chapter's revised fire safety plan and judicial board policies sent to Interfraternity Council VP Judicial in a timely manner, and submission of a plan for new member education that includes fire code and how to interact with the police as well.
  • since the chapter claimed to have reformed their previous issues with fire code and safety protocol, these internal policies, including the new fire alarm protocols and the judicial policies reprimanding members who misbehave when the police or fire department is called, must also be sent to the IFC VP Judicial for review
  • lastly, to prevent these violations from occurring in the future, the chapter must present the IFC VP Judicial with a plan to educate new members on fire and safety policies.
  • 80% of all new members must attend (chapter to provide a sign-in sheet as verification)

Theta Delta Chi Fraternity (Interfraternity Council)

Description: On Jan. 24, 2014, while assisting Ithaca Police, Cornell Police Officers observed a common source of alcohol in the form of a beer keg with tap at the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.  The fraternity called for assistance with an intoxicated male who was visiting the house and had become became combative.

Outcome: The Greek Judicial Board found the chapter responsible for violating the Event Management Guidelines in regards to possessing a keg of beer (a common source of alcohol). As a result, the chapter will receive a warning that in the future they are expected to abide by all event management policies and refrain from using kegs, or any common source, in the fraternity house or for fraternity functions, formal or informal.

The Greek Judicial Board expressed its gratitude for the fraternity's decision to call for assistance for the intoxicated student in need.

Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity

Description: During a traffic stop on Jan. 16, 2014, members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity were found to be in possession of a large quantity of beer (15 cases and a keg). The Greek Judicial Board found them to be responsible for violations of the Greek community Event Management Guidelines and Recognition Policy standards, prohibiting the presence of alcohol during new member activities such as recruitment or orientation, as the Board concluded this as the intended use.

Outcome:
The chapter received one year of Disciplinary Probation and a warning that any additional recruitment violations will result in the loss of a day of recruitment.


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