Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2018

In wake of freeze on social activity, KU fraternities elect interim leaders as IFC officers undergo ‘judicial review’

Some of the fraternity houses at University of Kansas are pictured April 2017. Top row, from left: Beta Theta Pi, Delta Chi, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta. Bottom row, from left: Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Some of the fraternity houses at University of Kansas are pictured April 2017. Top row, from left: Beta Theta Pi, Delta Chi, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta. Bottom row, from left: Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

March 14, 2018

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University of Kansas fraternity members have taken their first steps toward recalling several officers on KU’s Interfraternity Council, the governing body responsible for a self-imposed freeze on social activity among the 24 chapters it oversees.

During a private meeting Tuesday on campus, representatives from all 24 IFC chapters voted to form an ad hoc committee of interim leaders, temporarily replacing IFC president Daniel Lee and other IFC executive officers. The reorganization came one day after Lee and KU Chancellor Douglas Girod announced a freeze on social activity in the wake of several KU fraternities being investigated and/or suspended by the university for various violations, including hazing. In the university's news release Monday both Lee and Girod referred to "systemic" problems in KU's fraternity culture, although they did not provide any specifics.

Lee refused to speak to the Journal-World Tuesday and did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Fraternity members elected Keegun Gose, president of KU’s Phi Gamma Delta, to serve as interim president while Lee and other IFC executive board members undergo review by the IFC's "judicial board," which is made up of fellow fraternity members. An interim vice president and interim director of recruitment were also elected. Members of the ad hoc committee will share the duties of the remaining executive board positions as the process unfolds, Gose said.

Gose told the Journal-World previously that the decision to impose the freeze was made by a four-person IFC executive board without consulting or even informing fraternities beforehand. There are usually nine members on that board, Gose said, but several have left those positions recently after their fraternities were sanctioned or put under investigation. Two other seats had been vacated for unrelated reasons, Gose said.

“Because this is new territory, some of these new implementations are subject to change as we figure out the best way to navigate the process,” Gose said.

Because the freeze had reportedly been decided without a proper vote by the IFC’s general assembly, there is now “a question of legitimacy” surrounding it, Gose said. He declined to comment further on that topic, however, when asked if fraternities planned to challenge the freeze.

“We can’t give a clear timeline at this point, but we are focusing more on fixing the problems in our community than we are focused on the judicial review,” Gose said.

Gose did say he and other IFC representatives plan to “collaborate” in the coming weeks on various problems facing the KU fraternity community. More information could be released to the public during that time, Gose said.

KU and its Interfraternity Council have so far refused to disclose any details regarding the investigations that may have led to IFC’s decision to freeze all social activity. Repeated attempts this week to contact Amy Long, KU's associate director of Fraternity/Sorority Life, have gone unanswered.

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