The Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life will no longer recognize the University of Maryland’s chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Corin Edwards, the department’s associate director of advising and programming, announced the decision on Aug. 24 through a post in a Google group for this university’s Greek life presidents. The national fraternity has revoked this university’s charter, and it will be suspended from the campus until 2022, according to the DFSL website.
The decision to close the chapter was not due to one event but instead was made “based on the chapter’s inability to meet the expectations set forth by the University,” Edwards wrote.
“This decision was reached after a great deal of deliberation regarding accumulated concerns over the past few years and the chapter’s failure to meet conditions related to probationary recognition,” Edwards wrote. “DFSL staff communicated the seriousness of the situation with the chapter leadership but the necessary improvements were not achieved.”
There had been previous conversations about the fraternity’s status, but talks of probation began about a year ago, DFSL Director Matt Supple said.
A former member of this university’s Kappa Sigma chapter sent an offensive email in January 2014. The email, which included racial slurs and the phrase “fuck consent,” said other members should avoid inviting black and Asian women to parties “unless they’re hot.” The former member did not return as a student the following semester, but no action was taken against the fraternity as a whole.
During the 2016-17 academic year, the fraternity received probationary recognition and was expected to fulfill a number of sanctions and expectations, but they failed to comply, he added.
As a result, the fraternity was scheduled for a show cause hearing — a final opportunity to explain why they should continue to exist on the campus — but did not go through with it.
Kappa Sigma came to the campus in 2008 and has about 40 members, Supple said. While this is slightly below the average total membership of fraternities in the Interfraternity Council, its numbers were part of why the chapter was put on probation, Supple said. DFSL has taken disciplinary action against multiple campus fraternities in recent years. The department revoked Tau Kappa Epsilon’s charter in March 2016 — after three years of probationary status — due to hazing and risk-management violations. The fraternity is suspended through fall 2020, according to the DFSL website.
Delta Tau Delta lost its campus recognition in October 2016, after the fraternity didn’t make enough progress toward completing necessary requirements, including paperwork and membership quotas, to receive full chapter status.
Typically, the removal of recognition lasts for either four years, or until every undergraduate member who was an active member has graduated — whichever of the two is longer, he said.
“The University is committed to helping Kappa Sigma restore a chapter on campus that will embrace both the University’s mission and the organization’s purpose,” Edwards wrote.