After more than four months of waiting and judicial processes, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) has been issued a five-year probation from practicing on the West Chester University campus. The probation stems from charges of furnishing alcohol to minors from a Nov. 4, 2006 incident at a TKE social event.
“This means that the chapter will not be recognized by the University,” said Jared Brown, coordinator of Greek life programs. “[TKE] therefore cannot operate as a recognized student organization during those five years.”
After the suspension, the organization can reapply for recognition from the Greek Life office and the University, according to the Greek Life office.
“I was angry about it,” said one TKE member who wished to remain anonymous. “I wish [my experiences] could have gone farther in the organization.”
Conjoined with the incident was the stabbing of two men, 18 and 20, by a TKE member pledging for initiation.
According to West Chester Borough Police, officers responded to a fight involving the victims and a member of the pledging class. After witnesses dispersed, police officers found the man outside with a stab wound to the chest. The victim was flown to the University of Pennsylvania hospital to be treated. Hours later, the second victim acquired treatment at a local hospital for wounds to the side.
Both injured parties recovered from their injuries.
“The fact that a stabbing occurred at this sponsored social event did play a role in the severity of the violation,” continued Brown. “The chapter was not charged with assault.”
The announcement of the probation comes after two judicial hearings. The first hearing ruled for an original penalty of five years suspension. After the original decision, the TKE organization used the option of the university appeals process to challenge the outcome of the decision. However, the judicial board denied the second appeal. There was an option for a third appeal, but no further appeal was made by the organization.
“I enjoyed working with the members of TKE and never had an issue with the organization,” Brown said. “In this situation, some poor decisions were made which in turn led to a huge outcome.”
The suspension of TKE marks the third Greek organization to receive judicial action this year. Earlier in the school year, the University through similar judicial processes suspended Sigma Alpha Epsilon for one year due to violations of the school alcohol policy. The suspension expires on September 31, 2007. Pi Kappa Pi was placed on “disciplinary probation” for alcohol violations according to the Judicial Affairs and Student Assistance office.
Brown said that other Greek organizations can learn a lesson from these events.
“Greek organizations [should] continue to be vigilant with policies and procedures regarding risk management,” he said.
“It’s all the same and there are no grudges,” the TKE member added. “I’m still best friends with a lot of the guys and I will be for life.