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Kappa Sigma formally suspended after alleged sexual assault at party

Campus fraternity operations have been suspended while LBPD investigates sexual assault claims.

Micayla Vermeeren, Opinions Editor

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The Kappa Sigma chapter at Cal State Long Beach has been suspended from campus, pending a legal investigation into a sexual assault that allegedly took place at the fraternity’s house off-campus.

On Monday, an unnamed female student reported she was sexually assaulted in the early hours of Sunday morning after a party hosted at the fraternity house Saturday night. Campus police notified the student body of the report via a Timely Warning email later that afternoon.

Timely Warning emails are sent in accordance with the Clery Act of 1990, which “requires all colleges and universities who receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety as well as inform the public of crime in or around campus.”

On Tuesday, CSULB Student Life and Development Director Brett Waterfield confirmed that Kappa Sigma was suspended until further notice while the Long Beach Police Department investigates the allegations. He also said Kappa Sigma nationals will be conducting an investigation of their own to identify components of Saturday’s party that could have led to the creation of an unsafe environment.

CSULB Executive Director of Media and Digital News Michael Uhlenkamp noted that it has not yet been made clear whether the alleged perpetrator was a member of the fraternity.

Kappa Sigma is the third campus fraternity to be suspended this academic year. Last semester, Sigma Alpha Epsilon was suspended after reports of two sexual assaults were reported. In the same semester, Sigma Pi was suspended for repeated domestic complaints from the community.

Waterfield said Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been formally disbanded as of this week by their national council for violating codes of conduct, but Sigma Pi will be reinstituted to good standing next semester. Without Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the CSULB Interfraternity Council will recognize twelve official fraternal organizations as being part of the Greek community.

When a fraternity is suspended from campus, all organized activity must cease and desist until the chapter is fully reinstated. On Tuesday, Kappa Sigma preemptively canceled two philanthropy events that were scheduled for this week before school officials could issue a cease and desist letter to bring chapter activity to a halt, according to Waterfield.

There were plans for a petting zoo to be brought to the Kappa Sigma house on Wednesday afternoon, with entry fees being donated to Wounded Warriors, and a Greek soccer tournament to be held on Saturday afternoon with team entry fees also being donated.

Interfraternity Council, an executive council comprised of academic advisors and student representatives from a variety of fraternities that oversee the goings-on of each chapter, handle any and all disciplinary action that needs to be taken in response to infractions.

One chapter president, speaking under condition of anonymity, said that presidents across IFC were encouraged not to comment on the issues surrounding Kappa Sigma while there is an ongoing investigation.

 

James Conley also contributed to this article.

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