The Inter-fraternity Council and West Virginia University suspended a fraternity after an incident last Wednesday morning.
According to the Morgantown Police Department, 19 intoxicated student pledges of Sigma Chi caused disturbances and disorderly conduct in the South Park Neighborhood around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 6.
Sixteen students were charged with underage possession/consumption. Three students were arrested and charged: Alex Board, 19; Ryan Walter, 18; and Noah Miller, 19.
Sixteen students were charged with underage possession and consumption: Nicholas Collins, 18; Connor Michael Henahan, 18; Michael Buechler, 19; Andrew Gracie, 18; Karl Steinbach, 18; Aaron Blasinsky, 18; Ryan Woodard, 18; Benton Nanners, 18; Zachary Adams, 18; David Evans, 18; Johnathan Dawson, 18; Joshua Spacek, 18; Calder Wilson, 18; Austin Giacomo, 18; Kyle Jamieson, 20.
The students initially told the police they were associated with the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, but after cooperation from both fraternities, the students were found to be part of Sigma Chi.
The next day, IFC President Ansh Kumar sent a letter to Sigma Chi, suspending them until a formal investigation of the incident is complete.
“It’s a big deal in our eyes,” Kumar said. “When things like this happen, we have to act promptly and severely.”
Throughout the indefinite suspension, Sigma Chi cannot continue with the pledging process, have alcohol present in the fraternity house or participate in IFC-sanctioned activities and social events with other fraternities and sororities.
Yesterday, Ryan Monk, president of Sigma Chi, received an email from the University that suspended the fraternity from partaking in any member activity or social.
“As soon as the incident occurred, within three hours, I suspended the pledge program,” Monk said. “We accept responsibility for what happened, we’re making an action plan for the future, and we’re cooperating with organizations that are involved.”
Monk’s action plan includes monitoring pledges and their social behavior more while enforcing an understanding of underage drinking and its consequences.
“It’s a bad situation, and I absolutely wish it could have been avoided, but it happened and we’re going to deal with it,” Monk explained.
Kumar said these kinds of incidents do not occur frequently, and he expects fraternities to modify their behaviors in response.
“I see that Greek Life is going to change a lot over the course of the next four years,” Kumar said. Further, he hopes to see fraternities take the “no-pledging stance” some fraternities have today.
“The pledging process in general has become more destructible. If we get rid of pledging as a whole in fraternities, a lot of these problems will be diminished,” he said.
Sigma Chi’s suspension will last until the police, the University and the IFC finish the investigation.