PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University announced Friday a series of sanctions for students and fraternities involved in the May 3 riot adjacent to the campus and in the party that spawned it. Penalties include expulsion, suspensions, fines, probation and community service.
Among the first eight students who have faced student conduct hearings, two were expelled, four were suspended and two received educational sanctions and community service, WSU officials said. Federal privacy laws prohibit release of individual names.
The number of individual student cases has now risen to 51, with cases in various stages of the conduct process. Six of the 51 were dismissed prior to full hearings, 22 are still under investigation, and others are due for hearings soon.
Reviews of six fraternities have also been completed, with three of the chapters receiving significant sanctions for violations related to the large party at 805 A Street that led to the disturbance. The other three chapters are being referred to the Interfraternity Council Tribunal for other apparent violations relating to alcohol use, either in May or subsequently.
“Our pledge to treat very seriously any individuals and organizations involved in the illegal acts on the morning of May 3 is being carried out, and we are not done with our conduct hearings by any means,” WSU President Samuel H. Smith said. The president indicated that continuing work on known cases is resulting in a growing number of new conduct cases involving individuals.
“At the same time, we have been very careful in handling our investigations and students’ rights to due process so that sanctions are appropriate,” Smith said.
The president said the next step for WSU is implementation of an extensive program of education and intervention relating to alcohol abuse, a nationwide problem among college students. Plans include a wide array of activities in the residence halls and Greek houses, as well as campus-wide.
“We pledged to address here the drinking problem that plagues many young adults and threatens their lives, their educations and their future career success,” Smith said. “It is critically important for young people to understand the damage caused by alcohol abuse.”
According to Gus Kravas, vice provost for student affairs, investigations showed that key members of two of the fraternities – Kappa Sigma and Phi Kappa Tau — were responsible for organizing the May party at the so-called live-out house and for violating laws and WSU policies relating to alcohol.
Sanctions for Kappa Sigma and Phi Kappa Tau include $1,000 fines, a required live-in advisor, social probation, community service, and no alcohol in the house for a year, plus a series of educational programs.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon was found to have contributed bulk alcohol to the party and had some members at the event, but was not involved in organizing the party. The chapter faces similar but lesser sanctions.
These houses are allowed to take in new freshman members, but living conditions in the chapter houses will be monitored through unannounced inspections and other means. Further policy violations by any of these three houses would result in suspension, according to Kravas.
Alpha Kappa Lambda and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternities are being referred to the IFC Tribunal for other apparent violations of living group policies relating to alcohol. While house members made purchases of bulk alcohol during the time of the May party, investigations turned up no evidence of a connection to the party at the live-out house on A Street.
As a result of the university’s investigations, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity is being referred to the IFC Tribunal for apparent alcohol violations occurring subsequent to the May weekend, according to Kravas.
The vice provost indicated that university staff will begin immediately to work with students on an array of action steps outlined in the alcohol abuse education and intervention plan.
“WSU has long been known for a quality campus life experience for our students,” Kravas said. “We have pledged to change the part of campus culture that involves alcohol, and this plan outlines our important first steps.”