Carol Biliczky

Kent: Kent State has suspended the Gamma Tau chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi for hazing and other violations.

An Oct. 7 letter to the chapter cites a “recent history of violations” and “other investigations of misconduct related to membership intake activity.”

The letter refers to an allegation of hazing that was brought to the university’s attention on Aug. 27, but does not specify what the predominantly ?African-American fraternity did.

Timeka L. Thomas Rashid, associate dean of students, told chapter president Ade Adesanya that she reviewed the hazing allegation and six years of the fraternity’s files before agreeing with an investigative committee to suspend the chapter for three years.

“This suspension means that the chapter will not be able to function in any way as a student organization on or off campus,” she wrote.

The fraternity became the first black organization on the Kent campus in 1949. It does not have a house and its website at www.kent.edu does not provide any details about the membership.

KSU spokesman Eric Mansfield declined to comment on what led to the suspension, other than to say that the university has policies to guide student organizations.

“Adhering to these policies helps maintain the integrity of all student groups and insures that all who participate are safe and treated fairly,” he said in a statement. “The university took it very seriously.”

The fraternity, Kent State and Ohio law all forbid hazing — ritualistic abuse or embarrassment — but it is common nationwide according to a 2008 study by the University of Maine. More than half of students involved in clubs, teams and organizations nationwide had been hazed.

Ernest Brown, interim executive director of the national organization in Philadelphia, Pa., could not be reached for comment.

The KSU chapter had 14 days to appeal the suspension, but did not, Mansfield said.

The fraternity has chapters at 13 other colleges and universities statewide, according to the national website.

Carol Biliczky can be reached at cbiliczky@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3729.