Kappa receives social probation, not faulted for hazing violations

by Dan Duray | 11/17/06 6:00am

College disciplinary committees determined that Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority did not violate the College Standard of Conduct regarding hazing during a Oct. 9 new member bid-night activity that resulted in the alcohol-related arrests of 11 Kappa members.

A joint meeting of the Organizational Adjudication Committee and the Committee on Standards determined on Monday that the Good Samaritan policy will apply to all members charged with violations of the College alcohol policy. Director of Undergraduate Judicial Affairs April Thompson refused comment on Tuesday, and Acting Dean of the College Dan Nelson notified The Dartmouth of the committees' decision on Thursday.

Despite avoiding hazing and alcohol charges, the committees found that Kappa violated the College Standard of Conduct for threatening or causing harm to individuals, as well as the terms of its probation.

At the event subject to adjudication by the College, three of the new members were hospitalized following a roller rink event in Enfield, N.H. that was intended to welcome new members.

As a result of the two violations, Nelson accepted the committees' recommendations that Kappa be placed on social probation until March 27, 2007. Nelson acknowledged that Kappa's probation is not meant to serve as a deterrent from new violations.

"It clearly wasn't before," Nelson said, referring to the fact that Kappa was already on probation at the time of the incident. "I think in any situation like this, what the College tries to work with is some measure of accountability and a lot of emphasis on education and prevention."

"I think the whole situation has had a tremendously positive impact in the long run on the members of [Kappa] and how they view their responsibilities to one another as members of an organization," Nelson said.

Kappa President Whitney Dickerson '07 also saw the experience as a positive one.

"We are grateful to the members of the Dartmouth community who have supported and guided us in the past month, particularly those who have reached out to help us shape our experience as an impetus for positive change," Dickerson wrote in a statement to The Dartmouth. Dickerson would not answer questions over the phone, asking that all inquiries be directed through BlitzMail.

Nelson said he was not concerned about any precedent that may follow the Kappa case, in which "threatening or causing harm to individuals" did not lead to hazing violations. Nelson said that he was more worried about the potential danger involved in such activities.

"I'm less worried about the particular label that may or may not be attached to these behaviors as the result of a hearing process," he said.

On Oct. 25 UJA charged Kappa with "causing or threatening to cause harm to new members of the organization," but the announcement Thursday cited Kappas as causing or threatening to cause harm to "individuals." Administrators could not be reached to explain the semantic difference on Thursday.

Multiple attempts by The Dartmouth to contact Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman and Director of Coed, Fraternity and Sorority Administration Deb Carney concerning Kappa were also unsuccessful.

In addition to its probation, Kappa will participate in alcohol education, as well as organize alcohol education events for the CFS community. According to the Office of the Dean of the College statement, Kappa will also be required to present several other educational programs to the CFS community during the summer of 2007, and "must also work with their national organization to address communication issues and compliance with Dartmouth and national organization policies."

Kappa's national organization did not respond to several phone calls from The Dartmouth.