WSU Drops Recognition of Kappa Sigma Fraternity

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University has formally rescinded recognition of
the Kappa Sigma Fraternity chapter on the WSU campus. This action is based on an
administrative hearing that found the chapter responsible for a number of university conduct
code violations as well as violations of state laws and local ordinances.
The WSU chapter was placed on probation last spring and was subsequently suspended for
violating the terms of its probation in December. Members of the chapter faced numerous
charges of alcohol violations and were implicated in the May 1998 student riot. Subsequent
violations, including a party that involved illegal use of alcohol, led to the suspension action.
An administrative hearing on conduct charges against the chapter was held on March 6.
The hearing involved chapter representatives, including student president Ryan Mulcahy, and
WSU Assistant Dean of Students Cindy Empey.
In a resulting letter to the chapter, Empey concluded, “It is clear that the chapter student
leadership and rank and file members were unable to operate within the University Conduct
Code, Fraternal Organization Agreement, Greek policies or probationary sanctions.”
Gus Kravas, vice provost for student affairs, expressed disappointment at the removal of a
long-standing WSU fraternity. “However, this action is not taken without serious deliberation,”
said Kravas, “and it reflects the university’s unbending commitment to make significant changes
in the campus culture as it relates to the use of alcohol.”
WSU coordinated disciplinary action with the national Kappa Sigma Fraternity and with the
local Kappa Sigma Corporation, which owns the house.
The university says it will allow Kappa Sigma to petition for re-opening a “colony” in the
future. However, a petition for active colony status will be accepted no earlier than April 1, 2000.
As part of the petitioning process, the chapter will be required to meet strict guidelines and
develop an approved re-colonization plan. Among the requirements, members and recruits will be
required to attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, hire a live-in house manager, acquire at least
five local advisors and maintain substance-free housing.
Until reinstatement takes place, Kappa Sigma Chapter members may not engage in any
activities that could be construed as chapter events. In addition, members, pledges or individuals
on alumni status may not represent themselves as an endorsed Greek organization.