Friday, September 14, 2007

Ole Miss DKE Chapter Suspended

BREAKING NEWS: DKE found guilty
Fraternity suspended for one year for multiple violations of UM policy
By Haley Crum

The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity is officially suspended from the Ole Miss campus for one year for violations of harassment, assault, disorderly conduct, possession of alcohol and hosting an unauthorized party, according to University Judiciary Council Chair Bart Reising.

The decision was announced at a news conference held in the Dean of Students office at 12:30. The suspension is effective immediately and will end in fall 2008.

The DKE fraternity was under investigation for allegations made by freshman Jeremiah Taylor in regards to a party DKE held Aug. 22. Taylor said he was humiliated by comments about a "racial rush list" and was subject to racial taunting and slurs, including the "n-word". The night ended when Taylor was asked to leave the party and then pushed down the stairs of the DKE house, he said.

In addition to a one-year suspension period, the chapter is required to:
•participate in educational programs on racial sensitivity and alcohol/drug abuse under the direction of university officials
•pay a $1,000 fine to IFC for alcohol education programming or sponsor an alcohol/drug program for the university community

Each member is required to participate in 20 hours of community service, and the fraternity receives its first strike in the university's two-strike alcohol policy.

The decision allows chapter members to continue to live and take their meals in the fraternity residence, but they are prohibited from recruiting, meeting, holding social activities, participating in any Interfraternity Council or any other university event. That includes the Rush period, which begins Sept. 23.

The judicial council made the decision after hearing testimonies from nearly 20 witnesses and deliberating over the course of two days, the statement said.

The details of the hearing and the testimonies of the witnesses are kept confidential and are protected under the Family Educational Rights of Privacy Act, Jeffrey Alford, Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations said.

"This has been a difficult episode for everone involved," Reising said in a prepared statement. "We believe the resolution demonstrates the university's commitment to the values expressed in the University of Mississippi creed."