Virginia Tech Identifies Fraternities That May Be Operating Without Official Recognition
Virginia Tech has taken the unusual, but praiseworthy, step of publicly identifying 13 fraternities that may be operating in the Blacksburg (VA) area without the school’s official recognition as a student organization. According to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Virginia Tech, the 13 fraternities are:
In the Spring Semester of 2016, and while it was on “deferred suspension,” AEPi’s recognition was revoked for violations of the school’s alcoholic beverage policies and the Student Code of Conduct. The fraternity can apply for reinstatement in the Fall semester of 2021.
APA was suspended for 10 years after a pledge was severely beaten, to the point of requiring hospitalization, during a hazing ritual. It can apply for reinstatement in 2026.
APA is no stranger to controversy, having been suspended from at least 12 campuses in the past decade. Two fraternity pledges are alleged to have died during fraternity hazings.
Delta Kappa Epsilon
While it was already on “deferred suspension,” DKE’s recognition was revoked for multiple violations related to alcoholic beverages; hazing; lying to Student Conduct investigators, and Code of Conduct violations. It can apply for reinstatement in the Fall of 2028.
DTD was also on deferred suspension in 2017 when it was found to have committed additional violations related to alcoholic beverages and the Code of Conduct. It can apply for reinstatement in the Spring 2023 semester.
With the exceptions of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Chi, discussed below, DTD has been suspended from more campuses than any other fraternity mentioned on this page.
Kappa Alpha Psi
KAP was suspended earlier this year for hazing and Code of Conduct violations. It can apply for reinstatement in 2024.
While on “deferred suspension” in 2016, KDR was charged with alcoholic beverage and Code of Conduct violations. It can apply for reinstatement in 2021.
KS was suspended for 4 years in 2015 after being found to have committed multiple violations of hazing, alcoholic beverage and Code of Conduct policies. Although eligible, it has not yet formally applied for reinstatement.
In 2018, SC was on “deferred suspension” when it was suspended for 5 years for multiple violations, including lying to school officials. It can apply for reinstatement in 2023.
Sigma Chi holds the unenviable title as the only fraternity whose record of misconduct challenges that of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Theta Delta Chi
TDC was also on “deferred suspension” in 2016 when it was found to have committed multiple violations of school policies. It can apply for reinstatement in 2021.
While on “deferred suspension” in 2018, TX was found responsible for multiple violations of school policy and regulations. It can apply for reinstatement in 2023.
In the original news reports on the situation at Virginia Tech, two issues emerged that should concern both students at any university as well as their parents.
First of all, some national fraternity offices are known to “look the other way” when a fraternity is suspended from campus and simply allow the fraternity to continue operations from an off-campus location. Since a host school’s administrative and legal authority doesn’t extend to such locations, the suspended fraternities are free to continue operations such as recruiting new members, initiations and, perhaps most importantly, making sure that the national organization continues to collect its “nationals,” or national dues from the suspended chapter.
Secondly, very few students are aware that a fraternity is not recognized by what they assume to be the host school and are thus deprived of information regarding a fraternity’s local and/or national conduct issues. Since local chapters are not known for their “openness” or “transparency” regarding their disciplinary histories, it is certainly possible that some prospective members would elect not to pledge a fraternity if its true status had been known to the student and/or a student’s parents.
It is important for everyone involved in “Greek Life,” including pledges, parents, fraternity members and school administrators, to remember that hazing is a crime in all but 5 states and that fraternities and their hosts are exposing themselves to significant legal liability if a student is injured during hazing activities.
At The Doan Law Firm, we will continue to monitor developments at Virginia Tech and at other schools across the nation. If your son was injured during some fraternity hazing ritual, we invite you to contact our fraternity hazing lawyer to arrange a free, confidential, no obligation review of the facts in your son’s injury case and a review of the legal options that may be available to you.
Fraternity hazing will not stop until enough people say, “enough is enough!” Make your voice heard by contacting us today!