Fraternities: 3 percent of the student organization population. Half of organization-based conduct violations.


Brian Hayes

Phi Delta Theta file photo

There are 17 violations in Wichita State’s database of registered student organization violations. Just under half of the violations in the database — which represents the disciplinary history of more than 240 student organizations — come from fraternities on the Interfraternity Council. Those fraternities make up less than 3 percent of the registered student organizations at WSU.

The most recent violation in the database, which goes back five years, is still under investigation — charges brought against Beta Theta Pi fraternity last week. The outcome of that investigation is likely to be determined this week, said Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards Scott Jensen.

Hazing, theft, and a multitude of alcohol-related violations are some of the charges that have been brought against several fraternities over the last five years.

“It’s expected that college students are going to screw up,” Vice President for Student Affairs Teri Hall said. “The key is, how do we have students learn from those mistakes so those things don’t happen again?”

The sanctions for the fraternities have mainly been training classes — alcohol awareness, hazing prevention, and the like. Some have lost the privilege of having alcohol at fraternity events.

Sanctions are meant to be educational, Hall said, echoing President John Bardo’s “redemption, not punishment” attitude towards disciplining organizations. Bardo made that statement during a 2015 meeting with the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Multicultural Greek Council.

“If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t doing it right,” Bardo said at the 2015 meeting.

Hall said “redemption not punishment” is a common attitude across the country.

But Hall said if violations continue to pile up year after year, there has to come a time for stricter enforcement.

“If a group is on a serious level of probation or [deferred suspension] and they have another violation that shows they’re not learning, chances are that group is going to be suspended,” Hall said.

“We want this to be an educational process . . . When it’s shown that’s not happening, that’s when the university has to take a different stance.”

Hall said she could not comment on Beta’s current investigation, since the initial investigation isn’t finished. Beta Theta Pi is on disciplinary probation and deferred suspension — meaning if the fraternity has any further violations, they will be fully suspended from the university.

“What I can say is, if a group is at a serious place in violations and another serious allegation comes forward that is found credible, then the group is going to be suspended,” Hall said. “I’m not going to say any particular group.”

The university isn’t out to “get” anybody, Hall said. But bad members get entire organizations into trouble.

“It gets to a point where the university has to say ‘enough.’”

Madeline Deabler
They’re less than 3 percent of the student organization population. But fraternities have about half of all organization-based conduct violations.