It’s been more than three months since Butler University administrators shut the doors of Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Gamma Psi chapter.
A report came in near the end of the spring semester that led to an investigation of the house. Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson would not disclose what the complaint against the organization was.
Following the investigation, the university and the national organization made the joint decision on May 14 to close the chapter.
Administrators had been keeping a close eye on the fraternity’s actions in recent years, and national headquarters officials said they had stepped in to work to fix the problems within the chapter.
“We’re not in the business of shutting down our chapters,” said Tom McAninch, director of communications and public relations for TKE’s national headquarters. “We want to see everyone succeed.”
A number of risk-management concerns have been documented over the past three or four years.
“Everything is a teaching opportunity to help (the chapter members) understand what they should be doing and why they should be doing it,” McAninch said. “They didn’t take that opportunity to learn from those mistakes, they just continued to make them.”
Though he wasn’t aware of the specific concerns, McAninch said that concerns could have included academic standings, recruitment issues or daily chapter operations.
Soon after the decision was made, TKE president Seth Schmitt filed an appeal.
Schmitt declined to comment for this story.
Greek organizations, as outlined in the student handbook, can receive conduct charges for violating campus policies, state law or their respective council’s constitution and bylaws and are entitled to a hearing.
Most hearings are overseen by the Greek Conduct Review Committee, which includes the dean of student life and the director of Greek life. In this case, since most had left for the summer, Johnson oversaw the hearing.
Though he said he could only speak in broader terms, Johnson said that closing the chapter was the best decision for everyone involved.
“In the end, it’s what was good for the university, the fraternity and the students,” Johnson said.
University President Jim Danko said that while he played little role in the process, he was aware of the situation. The fraternity’s actions, Danko said, were serious enough that people were at risk.
“You hope that your students do the right thing,” Danko said. “You all are adults and should set the bar. You know what’s wrong and right.”
Students who lived in the house have found housing on or off campus. The future of the property is still up in the air, Danko said. There is a possibility that the university could end up with the house, though it is currently owned by the organization.