Loyola’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPsi) — a coed business-focused fraternity on campus — has been suspended until Jan. 7, 2019 following a university investigation.
An investigation into a variety of charges was opened in April by the Office of Student Activities and Greek Affairs (SAGA) and the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR). The investigation concluded in May and chapter leaders were summoned to schedule a hearing in front of university officials, according to Ben Kilberg, president of AKPsi Gamma Iota — Loyola’s chapter.
Once a hearing had been scheduled, Kilberg said he received an email notice from SAGA detailing the chapter’s allegations on May 21.
“A hearing did take place in August,” Kilberg said.
A few weeks later, SAGA found AKPsi responsible for failure to comply, hazing, corporate co-sponsorship, fundraising and alcohol violations, according to an email to The Phoenix from Vice President for Student Development Jane Neufeld. SAGA issued the chapter a suspension on Aug. 30, including a number of other sanctions, Kilberg said. He added he communicated those sanctions to members and fraternity alumni through multiple media channels, such as email and Facebook.
Kilberg declined to comment on the specific violations for which the chapter was found responsible, but reiterated that there were a variety of different charges.
“The chapter was under investigation for a range of operational activities and events,” Kilberg said.
Kilberg said SAGA’s initial notice came unexpectedly.
“I think that our organization was surprised when we received our allegations, because we had been working with SAGA over the past year or so to make sure we were in compliance with everything,” the 21-year-old senior information systems major said. “I was surprised.”
Brian Parker, Manager of Operations for AKPsi’s national chapter, confirmed the suspension but said he had not been notified of the specific allegations against the Loyola chapter. He said he believes, however, that the chapter leadership is committed to compliance with SAGA’s policies.
“In my experience, the current chapter officers and membership … have reached out for guidance with a willingness to make changes to remove any perceived issues with their operations and to align the chapter’s processes with all [registered student organization] policies,” Parker said in an email to The Phoenix.
AKPsi isn’t the first fraternity chapter to face discipline for hazing allegations at Loyola recently.
The university suspended Sigma Alpha Epsilon — a social fraternity — from campus for three years in March after the chapter was found responsible for hazing and disorderly conduct.
The fraternity Alpha Delta Gamma was suspended for four years in 2009 after allegedly serving alcohol to minors at a party.
Sigma Pi, another fraternity, was suspended in 2014 after the university found the chapter responsible for hazing and engaging in lewd conduct with a Victoria’s Secret mannequin.
Loyola’s Community Standards prohibits hazing, defined as “bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright or ridicule.” Hazing is prohibited under Illinois Law and by AKPsi’s national organization.
AKPsi appealed the decision, but the university’s initial ruling was upheld in its entirety, Neufeld said.
Once the suspension expires in the Spring 2019 semester, AKPsi must request expansion through process with SAGA and the AKPsi national office, according to Neufeld.
The chapter would also be required to develop a “year-long comprehensive member development program” that promotes a zero-tolerance policy toward hazing.