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The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Four Greek Houses found in violation of Community Standards

During the fall, the College suspended Alpha Chi and Sig Nu, which are now on alcohol probation this winter. Students alleged that Beta currently serves a suspension through summer term 2024, and that APhi received alcohol probation for winter only.

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Four Greek houses — Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity, Alpha Phi sorority, Beta Alpha Omega fraternity and Sigma Nu fraternity — were found to have violated Community Standards, according to College officials, a fall term community report and various affiliated students. 

The fall term 2023 community report, which is publicly available on the College’s Office of Community Standards and Accountability website, states that Alpha Chi and Sig Nu were suspended during the fall and have been placed on alcohol probation for the duration of winter term. An anonymous member of Beta, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about his house’s alleged suspension, said that Beta was suspended in the fall and sentenced to three terms of suspension, with time served in the fall not counting towards the sentence. Additionally, an anonymous APhi sorority member, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about her house’s current situation, also said that APhi is on alcohol probation this winter.

The community report states that Alpha Chi was found responsible for providing hard alcohol, as well as “underage distribution of alcohol and service from a common source,” while Sig Nu “admitted to being in possession of 38 bottles of hard alcohol in a common space.” These incidents led to the fraternities’ fall suspensions and current alcohol probations. 

According to an email statement to The Dartmouth from Assistant Dean and Director of Greek Life Josh Gamse, a student organization may be suspended for either “repeated misconduct, or for misconduct found to be sufficiently serious to warrant stopping all activity for a specified number of terms.” Additionally, alcohol probation is imposed when a student organization is found to have improperly served alcohol and prevents the organization from hosting or co-hosting events where alcohol is served, Gamse wrote.  

The community report does not contain information about Beta’s suspension because the decision has not yet been “finalized,” Gamse wrote. APhi’s probation status is also unavailable on the College’s community report. Gamse wrote that the Greek houses serving an alcohol probation is information not publicly reported by the College.  

The APhi member explained that she was notified of the alcohol probation by an email from APhi leadership, though she expressed skepticism toward alcohol probation as a disciplinary outcome and its ability to “alter the [Greek] system or people’s behavior.” 

However, she expressed concern that APhi may face more severe consequences if DoSS were to find alcohol in the house during their alcohol probation. 

“If [DoSS] comes into our house, and there is alcohol anywhere, we’re done,” she said. 

In an email statement, Gamse noted that alcohol probation status may be considered in “future disciplinary proceedings.” 

“Student organizations on alcohol probation at the time of another incident will likely face suspension-level charges and/or a longer period of time without alcohol service,” Gamse wrote.

A member of Sig Nu, who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about his house’s suspension, explained that the DoSS found hard alcohol in a room during a standard walkthrough of the house after a door was left ajar. 

As of 2015, the College prohibits the possession, consumption and service of hard alcohol by undergraduate students on campus, according to Dartmouth’s Student Affairs website.  

Following DoSS’s discovery of hard alcohol at Sig Nu, the fraternity attempted to postpone the hearing date in order to conduct shakeout and welcome a new pledge class, the Sig Nu member said. According to the Sig Nu member, shakeout is the night when potential new members visit the house they are considering joining. However, he added that Sig Nu was officially notified of the suspension on the day of shakeout. 

“Pretty unanimously, we were kind of sad,” he said. “The execs had been really working to push the hearing back to make rush possible, but right on the day that it was most important, [we were suspended]. It was annoying.” 

Gamse wrote that Greek houses receive notification of alleged violations and all evidence presented with the allegations. The organization has the opportunity to present any additional information they want to be considered by the Organizational Adjudication Committee as it determines an appropriate sanction. 

Although the Beta member declined to comment on why Beta is allegedly suspended, he described what led to the incident as an “accident.”

The Sig Nu member and Beta member both described how suspended organizations cannot congregate under the stipulations of suspensions. 

“The biggest issue with the suspension was that we were not allowed to have congregations of any type, including organizing for charity,” the Sig Nu member said. 

The Sig Nu member said that during the suspension in the fall, the fraternity set a “soft limit” of five brothers in a room together in the house to avoid violating the congregation rules. Since the suspension is now lifted, Sig Nu members can congregate again as normal. 

The Beta member said that only members living in the house can currently go there due to the alleged suspension. Additionally, he said that the house is turning down all opportunities to organize events with other Greek houses. 

“The answer has simply been, ‘No, we can’t do that’ because of the fear that we could get derecognized,” the Beta member said. 

According to the Office of Greek Life handbook, derecognized organizations may lose privileges, such as the ability to new members and register social events with alcohol. 

Alpha Chi leadership declined to comment about the fraternity’s fall term suspension and current alcohol probation.