Plattsburgh State University Police reported that they received an anonymous report alleging violations of the campus hazing policy on March 9.
The sorority in question: Sigma Lambda Upsilon. PSUC Vice President of Student Affairs Bryan Hartman immediately wrote a letter asking the organization to cease and desist their new member education process until the matter was addressed further.
“They can’t be meeting as a group. They can’t be interacting with current members doing whatever was planned like workshops on history or career-related things,” Hartman said in regards to the cease and desist period. “All of that has to stop while we do an investigation.”
Hartman said Allison Swick-Duttine, director of the fraternity and sorority life office at PSUC, and members of University Police determine whether allegations toward fraternity and sorority life are credible enough to follow up. He said if there were any allegations of harm being inflicted on person, the organization must stop everything.
“This year we have received three allegations toward sororities for hazing, all non-physical stuff,” Hartman said.
Two of the three allegations, including those against Sigma Lambda Upsilon, were determined unfounded. Sigma Lambda Upsilon’s cease and desist was lifted last Thursday. Theta Nu Xi, the sorority that the last accusation was against, took responsibility for their actions and is now working with Larry Allen, PSUC director of student conduct, to fulfill their sanctions.
Hartman said Swick-Duttine always reaches out to the national organization of the campus chapters for their understanding and assistance when a report such as this is filed. In some cases, the national organizations hold independent investigation, which was deemed unnecessary in this case.
Theta Nu Xi National supportively worked with the Student Affairs department in keeping their progress on track.
“Hazing is a sickness that has plagued the fraternity and sorority community for some time,” president of PSUC Interfraternity Council Michael Marvin. “As a leader in the fraternity and sorority community, I’d like to encourage those who witness it to step up and bring a stop to it.”
Ally Centola, president of PSUC Inter-Sorority Association, said PSUC has a “zero-tolerance” policy when referring to hazing.
The ISA and IFC strive to hold organizations accountable for each member’s actions and uphold safety and risk management policies.
“Overall, I think [Greek life] is a very healthy system. Is it immune from problems?” Hartman asked. “Absolutely not. It’s just like any other group on campus. We need to hold people accountable for their behavior, but that’s why we are here.”
Email Lisa Scivolette at firstname.lastname@example.org