Phi Sigma Kappa put on probation

The UniversityâÄôs chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity was put on probation Sept. 3 by the University for an incident this past summer involving underage drinking at their chapter house that led to a first-year student being taken to detox. The chapter, as a University student organization, will be on probation through the end of the 2009 fall semester. It has also been suspended by the Interfraternity Council. The chapter house must be alcohol and substance free until Aug. 31, 2009. In addition, the fraternity cannot participate in any noneducational social events with other greek houses or events where alcohol is being served throughout their entire probationary period. The chapter is still required to fully participate in meetings, pay the required IFC fees and participate in IFC philanthropy events. The fraternity hasnâÄôt denied that the first-year student consumed alcohol at the house, but said the alcohol was provided by someone who is not a member of the fraternity. According to IFCâÄôs risk management policy, members cannot âÄúpurchase for, serve to or sell alcoholic beverages to any minor.âÄù Mark Rotenberg , a member of the UniversityâÄôs General Counsel, said the investigation is complete. âÄúThere was an investigation conducted by the University and they determined that the alcohol was provided there at the frat and that they were responsible for it,âÄù Rotenberg said. Chad Ellsworth , coordinator of the office for fraternity and sorority life, was not pleased by Phi Sigma Kappa’s infractions. âÄúNaturally, youâÄôre always disappointed when something like that happens,âÄù Ellsworth said. To his knowledge, this chapter has had no similar discipline in the past. IFC President Dustin Norman approved the IFC judicial boardâÄôs decision to suspend the chapter. âÄúThey are in a gray area, almost, where if they choose to not come back to IFC, that is their decision,âÄù Norman said. âÄúObviously, we would like them to come back to IFC; we support any effort they are making to move forward.âÄù In 2006, the UniversityâÄôs chapter of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity was put on probation because of an event in which a person was seriously injured at a party held at the chapter house. That fraternity has since returned to full-functioning status in the IFC. Norman said Phi Sigma Kappa is still a member of IFC, but is currently not in good standing. The fraternityâÄôs probation as a University student organization became official when a letter detailing the terms of the probation was sent to the chapter house. The letter, signed by Megan Sweet , assistant director of Student Unions & Activities, states that the fraternity cannot participate in IFC recruitment events, Homecoming or Spring Jam. Michael Carey, executive director of Phi Sigma KappaâÄôs national organization, which is investigating the incident, said he has been working with the University on the issue, but wants more information about what happened that evening. Carey said heâÄôs concerned that the negative publicity will hurt recruiting. The fraternity is still allowed to recruit new members as long as they do not use IFC events to do so. It may hurt the fraternityâÄôs recruiting but, to CareyâÄôs knowledge, none of the fraternityâÄôs current members have left the chapter because of the disciplinary actions. Carey says he wants to continue to work with the University to have a positive experience for the members of the suspended chapter.