Monday, August 20, 2007

Purdue Enforces Underage Drinking Violations

Five Purdue fraternities suspended for alcohol violations
By BRIAN WALLHEIMER and JOE LARSON
Journal and CourierGreater Lafayette, IN

Three more Purdue University fraternities have been suspended for alcohol violations, the day after Purdue suspended two others.

The Office of the Dean of Students reported that Kappa Delta Rho, Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Alpha Epsilon held functions this week in which minors were given or possessed alcohol. The groups also did not register their social functions with the Interfraternity Council, a requirement.

Delta Upsilon and Phi Kappa Psi were suspended earlier this week for the same violations.

The violations committed by at least two of the three most recent fraternities to face disciplinary action were brought to the attention of authorities by the Interfraternity Council's lower board. That board exists to help the organizations monitor themselves, according to Interfraternity Council President Steve Holtsclaw.

"I think that it is a positive sign that the Interfraternity Council and their lower board have not backed down," said Pablo Malavenda, associate dean of student activities at Purdue, about the most recent round of pending disciplinary action.

Last year, fraternities didn't have to register their functions with the lower board until classes started, Malavenda said.

The IFC was on the lookout this week for functions that violate Interfraternity Council rules forbidding events with alcohol during Boiler Gold Rush, the university's freshman orientation week.

"They are saying that the fraternity experience at Purdue University is more than just alcohol," said Kyle Pendleton, assistant dean of students at Purdue, about the lower board's actions.

University records show no violations for Kappa Delta Rho or Sigma Alpha Epsilon since 2001.

But Pi Kappa Alpha was disciplined twice in 2004. Once the fraternity received a written warning for alleged fighting and alcohol distribution and later that year was put on probation for allowing underage drinking at a catered event.

The fraternities are on suspension until their international offices do assessments and submit reports to the Office of the Dean of Students and the Interfraternity Council. Those two bodies can set sanctions such as mandatory workshops, probation, suspension or withdrawal of recognition.

While suspended, the fraternities must cease most chapter operations.

Holtsclaw said he didn't know if more disciplinary action against fraternities should be expected.

"I really hope it doesn't come to that, but at the same time we will keep going out and making sure that the rules are being followed," he said.

Mark Napier, president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, declined to comment.