GW releases list of 15 penalized Greek groups

Greek chapters were the only student organizations on the list published Monday on the University's website. Hatchet File Photo
Greek chapters were the only organizations on the list of sanctioned student groups published Monday online. Hatchet File Photo
GW published a list of 15 Greek-letter organizations Monday that have faced sanctions since last October.

Three months after administrators announced they would create an online database of all student organizations slapped with disciplinary sanctions, the University posted a PDF file on the Center for Student Engagement’s website. Fourteen of the 15 sanctioned organizations are social Greek chapters, including one former and nine current member-chapters of the Interfraternity Council.

The outlier, pre-health professional fraternity Delta Epsilon Mu, was sanctioned for underage drinking in March.

Four Greek chapters violated GW’s hazing policy, but most of the organizations faced disciplinary action for underage drinking or hosting unregistered parties. Sanctions ranged from censure – an official, written warning from the University – to a revoked charter. Alpha Epsilon Pi was kicked off campus last January following 17 counts of hazing, drug and alcohol violations as well as damages to the chapter’s townhouse.

Administrators have touted the site as a way to make the disciplinary process more transparent and said it would list sanctions for all student organizations. The violations and sanctions will be listed online for two years after the sanctions are complete, University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said. He added that no non-Greek student organizations have been sanctioned this year.

University officials have for months held back from releasing details on hazing or alcohol violations involving student organizations.

The newly-released information, which stretches back seven months, reveals the University found two more chapters guilty of hazing this semester: Delta Tau Delta and Chi Omega. The document does not provide any details about the incidents.

Chi Omega spent four months on social probation since January, but remains on social restriction – which limits the number of chapter events that can involve alcohol – until next December. Delta Tau Delta will remain on disciplinary and social probation until October 1.

“We have the highest hopes and expectations that our students will be model citizens and this expectation extends to their time living in our surrounding community,” Tim Miller, Center for Student Engagement director, said in a release.

Sigma Delta Tau sorority was also charged with hazing in January and lost its F Street townhouse as a result.

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has been charged with eight noise complaints since 2013, all stemming from off-campus properties on 26th Street and I Street. Neighbors have long described the areas as trouble spots, and say the University is still not doing enough to crack down on rowdy behavior off campus. PIKE also lost its on-campus house in 2011 after members pled guilty to hazing, underage alcohol consumption and providing alcohol to minors.

Greek life director Christina Witkowicki said in a statement Monday that the website will help students choose which on-campus organizations they would like to join.

“Students will be able to reference the site and use it to inform their decisions,” she said. “Our goal is to promote a positive student experience for the campus community.”

While many universities do not release details about ongoing investigations, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center Frank Lomonte said last month that releasing disciplinary information is an important step in creating a healthy culture for Greek life on campus. He also said it was “very uncommon” for administrators to withhold details about completed investigations.

“There doesn’t seem any legitimate purpose at all by secrecy,” LoMonte said then. “When you have something that influential and pervasive on the campus, it doesn’t seem like it’s legitimate anymore for the school to treat this like a private matter with no public concern.”

The website was created after administrators consulted with leaders at schools nationwide like Syracuse University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to the release.

Cornell University details all on-campus hazing violations dating back to 2004 on its website, and includes details about the incident and a description of the ensuing sanctions or disciplinary meetings.

This post was updated May 19, 2014 to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the sanctions would remain on the website for two years after investigations end. They will remain on the website for two years after the sanctions are complete. We regret this error.

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