Kappa Kappa Gamma faces hazing allegations

by Madeleine Morgenstern

Kappa Kappa Gamma is under investigation for allegations of hazing and underage drinking, both the University and the sorority's national chapter confirmed this week.

Several sources have come forward, alleging that underage alcohol consumption and hazing may have taken place "recently," Tara Pereira, the assistant dean of students and director of Student Judicial Services, said in a letter to the sorority.

"We are investigating these allegations, which we take very seriously," Pereira said.

Pereira said she does not have a timeline for the investigation.

"The more [cooperative] the people that we need to talk to are, the faster it will go," Pereira said. "We have to do it very deliberately and very thoughtfully so I'm not looking to rush it."

Pereira acknowledged that this is a difficult time for the chapter.

"We recognize that students are concerned about it, we don't want to drag it out either. We're going to do it for as long as we have to do it," she said.

If the allegations are found to be true, Pereira said Kappa Kappa Gamma could potentially lose its recognition at GW.

"The worst-case scenario is that they lose their chapter," she said.

The sorority also occupies a University townhouse, but Pereira said she was not sure what could happen to it if the chapter is found in violation of the hazing and underage drinking allegations.

"We have never shut down a chapter on Townhouse Row so I don't know what would happen," Pereira said.

Beth Black, Kappa Kappa Gamma's national vice president, said the national chapter is working with GW officials during the investigation.

"Kappa has a very strong stance against hazing. We are partnering with the University to find out more about these alleged incidents. Together we will continue to educate our members to ensure their safety and well-being here at George Washington," Black said.

Jenna Gabe, Kappa Kappa Gamma's president, declined to comment on the allegations and the investigation.

These allegations come one month after a record high year for Panhellenic recruitment, where there was a 15 percent increase in women joining Greek-letter life. Approximately one-quarter of GW students are involved in Greek-letter life.

The last reported incident of hazing in GW's Greek-letter life community occurred last December, when the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity was found in violation of providing alcohol to minors. After a monthlong investigation, the University lifted the fraternity's suspension and Phi Kappa Psi remained fully recognized at GW.

The University's Code of Student Conduct defines hazing as "any action taken or situation created, intentionally, with or without consent, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule."

Hazing activities "include but are not limited to paddling in any form; creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips, or any other such activities carried on outside the confines of the house or organization; wearing, publicly, apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and buffoonery; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; and any other activities which are not consistent with the academic mission of the University."

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