KU: Fraternity to stay suspended while ‘complicated’ sexual assault investigation continues

The inquiry into allegations of sexual assault at Kappa Sigma fraternity is complicated and may take longer than the typical 60-day window to investigate, Kansas University officials said Friday.

Kappa Sigma waived its latest hearing and agreed to remain suspended until KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access has completed its investigation, according to a letter KU sent Friday to the chapter president.

That could be after the beginning of December, though every effort will be made to be timely, wrote Joshua Jones, KU student conduct and community standards coordinator.

“I certainly understand the difficult position this puts the fraternity in; however, I appreciate the fraternity’s cooperation and commitment to the investigative process,” Jones said. Jones noted that the fraternity’s agreement to remain suspended is not an admission of wrongdoing.

Kappa Sigma has been on interim suspension since Sept. 30 for what Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little called “serious and disturbing” allegations of sexual assault during a party at the fraternity house over homecoming weekend. A sexual assault report made to Lawrence police indicated a victim may have been impaired.

KU’s is one of multiple investigations into the Kappa Sigma allegations, all ongoing.

On the criminal front, Lawrence Police Department detectives continue to investigate the case, Sgt. Trent McKinley said. No one has been arrested, and the case has not been sent to the district attorney’s office.

Kappa Sigma’s national organization also continues to investigate and is working with law enforcement and KU, said Mitchell Wilson, Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s executive director.

Operations remain suspended at the KU chapter, as they have been since KU announced its investigation, Wilson said. That means members still live and eat at the house but aren’t allowed to participate in fraternity operations such as meetings or social functions.

KU disciplines several organizations a year for alcohol and hazing, but Kappa Sigma’s case is the first formal complaint KU has received and the first formal action taken against an organization for sexual misconduct.