Kansas University has placed its Interfraternity Council on probation for two years after a hazing investigation.
The council is the governing board for KU’s 21 fraternities.
A KU investigation alleged that the council engaged in hazing activity involving paddling after a formal officer-transition ceremony in November.
Members “took turns hitting each other,” according to an investigation report generated by KU’s office of the vice provost for student success, but no new board members were hit by former board members, except for those elected into new leadership positions.
During an IFC meeting Tuesday evening, the council held a vote to remove IFC president Jay Trump from office. That vote failed, with six members voting to retain Trump and 11 voting against. A vote to remove him would have required a two-thirds majority of the voting members present.
After the meeting, Trump declined to respond to the situation.
“We will cooperate with the university,” was all he said.
The IFC will undergo extensive anti-hazing education and its representative will meet regularly with Nick Kehrwald, KU’s new student conduct officer, during the probationary period.
University spokeswoman Jill Jess said that the IFC would be allowed to continue operating while on probation.
“Hazing absolutely will not be tolerated at KU,” said Marlesa Roney, vice provost for student success, in a statement. “These sanctions are intended to rehabilitate and to offer the IFC the opportunity to provide true leadership to end the culture that has allowed hazing to persist.”
• IFC will hire and fund an outside consultant to review the hazing culture in the KU greek community and lead the implementation of recommended initiatives.
• At least two IFC executive board members and their adviser or designee will attend the Novak Institute, an intensive, three-day anti-hazing seminar. Expenses will be covered by the IFC.
• IFC leadership will communicate the sanctions to the executive board and membership and apologize for their actions.
• Officer turnover procedures will be held in the presence of the staff adviser.
Also in KU’s investigation report, former board members described the 2009 turnover ceremony, which involved older members placing pillowcases over their heads so they could not see what was happening.
Then, the report said, members were asked questions in a forceful manner, and paddled by the person who held their post. Though the members did not report the behavior, they decided not to repeat it in 2010 “so that no one would go through what they did,” the report said.
A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the tally of the vote at the IFC meeting.