The University informed members of the Beta Lambda chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity of their joint decision with the KA national office to suspend the fraternity on campus until the 2011-2012 academic year.
The announcement was made at their Feb. 9 chapter meeting, and the suspension became effective that day. The fraternity house must be vacated by 5 p.m. on Feb. 14.
The fraternity currently had 78 members and 24 new pledges.
Lori White, SMU vice president for student affairs, said the university will assist current members and new pledges in the transition to other housing. The Office of Residence Life and Student Housing will help those displace from the fraternity house.
New pledges wanting to join another fraternity will be able to contact the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life for advice.
“Suspending a chapter from the university is a difficult decision,” White said in a letter written to parents of KA members. The decision is the result of activities representing behavior by the chapter as a whole “that are incongruent with the SMU Student Code of Conduct and SMU policies, as well as the standards and values of Kappa Alpha Order.”
“We are disappointed and heartbroken by the administration’s final verdict, and we look forward to presenting the facts to the SMU community,” former KA president Kevin Joseph said. “We hope that we will be remembered for the great things we’ve done for the school and Dallas community, and we greatly appreciate the outpouring of support we’ve received from our fellow students.”
The chapter has been on deferred suspension since December 2008, which was the third time the chapter had been placed on deferred suspension or had a deferred suspension extended in one semester, according to the university.
Rules of deferred suspension dictate that the chapter could not host, co-host or plan a social event on or off campus. Lisa Webb, dean of student life, allowed the fraternity to partake in spring 2009 recruitment activities.
According to the university, the chapter violated terms of deferred suspension when they hosted an off-campus event. The event included serving of alcoholic beverages to underage students.
Beta Theta Pi was the last fraternity to be suspended, when the national organization withdrew the fraternity’s charter in December 2005. The fraternity has returned to campus this semester and currently has 59 members.