Greek letter organizations Kappa Beta Gamma and Phi Mu Delta formerly affiliated with Keene State College have been expelled from the Greek organization’s national headquarters. As a result of the actions taken by the national organizations, Keene State College has also disaffiliated (cut ties) with the Greek chapters.
According to Vice President for Student Affairs Kemal Atkins, Kappa Beta Gamma, a former sorority at KSC, was found responsible by the national level and the college for violating the new member contract for hazing.
On the other hand, Fraternity Phi Mu Delta was found responsible for “Pervasive alcohol and risk management violations over the last two years,” according to a press release from National President of Phi Mu Delta Samuel Waltemeyer.
Waltemeyer was contacted by email for comment, but did not respond. KSC student members from Phi Mu Delta were also contacted for comment. One former Phi Mu Delta member Tyler Mailloux stated he was “not at liberty to speak about what happened at this time.”
Since these organizations are no longer affiliated with KSC, Coordinator of Fraternity/Sorority Life and Student Leadership Brandon Mathieu said that these Greek organizations no longer have the resources and support that recognized student organizations Greek or not would receive from the college.
In regards to Kappa Beta Gamma, one former member, who asked to remain unnamed, spoke out about the allegations and the investigation process conducted by the college.
“We had a member who didn’t agree with some things and said she wanted to join a different sorority. She said things…and we then got put on a suspension and had to go through the campus safety investigation process,” she said.
The former member said that during the investigation “The executive board and new members were interviewed one by one, by only one person, Amanda Guthorn.”
“She [Guthorn] was by herself, there were no recordings or anything,” she said. The former member said the lack of recorded interviews or second witnesses created a problem when the investigation report came out in print.
“What the report said wasn’t accurate and we [Kappa Beta Gamma] couldn’t fight it because there was no one else in the room or voice recordings. So in my opinion that’s not okay or fair,” she said.
A second Kappa Beta Gamma member said, “The school didn’t treat us like we were students of this campus.”
On Monday, Feb. 8, a voicemail was left for Director of Campus Safety Amanda Guthorn for comment on the investigation process. Guthorn replied on Feb. 9, that if The Equinox wanted to request an interview with her The Equinox should contact Director of Communications Kelly Ricaurte.
On Feb. 10, Ricaurte directed The Equinox to speak with Vice President of Student Affairs Kemal Atkins, who had been already contacted and interviewed. There was no reply from Ricaurte until contacted again on Feb. 15, for another interview request with Guthorn.
Guthorn was not on campus Tuesday, Feb. 16, to comment before print deadline.
Vice President for Student Affairs Kemal Atkins confirmed that the college is reviewing how reporting and investigating on hazing is conducted.
“I have set up a working group to review our investigation practices and reporting practices relating to hazing to refresh and create a hazing protocol. We have individual protocols by department offices, but we recognize the need to have one document that outlines everyone’s role and responsibilities in the investigative process,” Atkins said.
The former Kappa Beta Gamma member said that there was nothing they could do now regarding the final result of the investigation except set an example for what comes next.
“It [the investigation] took a couple months and it was emotionally and mentally draining, plus it took a lot of time out of studies and out of our lives. I know that they are redoing how they do investigations now because it’s not proper,” she said.
The former Kappa Beta Gamma member said she and other members as well as parents of members contacted the college about how the investigation was handled. The former member said that she believed there should have been more communication between the college and national headquarters of Kappa Beta Gamma.
“Our nationals weren’t even allowed to represent us in our hearing, which is, in my opinion, a little screwed up because if you’re suing the target in Keene then you’re suing the entire target and the corporation has the right to defend that,” she said.
An email was sent to Vice Chair of Kappa Beta Gamma Anna Cowdin for comment, but she did not respond.
Atkins said that hazing is “an ongoing issue that colleges and universities face. Although we haven’t had any significant problems, it’s time to review our policies and practices.”
Kendall Pope can be contacted at email@example.com