The Eta Mu chapter of Sigma Chi was not given a fair and unbiased investigation by the Office of Student Standards.
Nothing about what happened during the investigation was right. Eta Mu was designed to fail from the beginning. Sigma Chi was fighting an uphill battle from the start —a battle that started with one student’s lie.
Throughout the entire “investigation” Sigma Chi was kept in the dark about the allegations against us and who was bringing the allegations against us. This made it so every question in the interviews caught someone off guard.
When I was interviewed, I said something along the lines of “everything (the student) told you guys was a lie, none of it happened” and the people who interviewed me had the audacity to play stupid and respond, “How do you know that’s what (the student) told us? We never said that’s what this was about.”
The investigation started when a pledge of the fraternity drank too much and ended up in the hospital during a party.
When the pledge was called into Office of Student Standards to answer for why he drank that much, he lied to the university and said it was because Sigma Chi made him do it.
This is incredibly untrue. I was with the pledge all night. I went to the hospital with him, cleaned up his vomit and gave him water from my fridge to help him sober up. I handled the situation exactly how I would imagine the school would want someone to. The pledge was never forced to drink. In fact, he bragged during the night about how many cups he had drank.
That incident started the investigation, and no matter how hard Sigma Chi denied the allegations, we were considered liars.
The additional hazing charges were so stupid, it is hard to imagine the school would consider them hazing at all. Such as pledges being in a straight line or being made to carry things, like an empty soda bottle or basketball at a party.
In addition to hazing, the school added charges such as underage drinking, throwing parties and participating in drinking games to the reasons for suspension.
If Eastern is going to begin to put people on trial for those things, they need go after not just all of Greek Life on campus, but every non-Greek-affiliated student that participates in these actions, that are very common at Eastern, every weekend.
The school is dancing on a very slippery slope when it starts to go after college organizations, especially Greek ones, for underage drinking and partying.
The school has turned a blind eye for years to the off-campus parties, particularly the Greek ones that happen almost every weekend in Charleston.
However, with all of the negative things happening with Greek Life nationwide, rather than get caught with their pants around their ankles the school decided to take extreme action against whichever house they could get their hands on in an effort to perhaps say “see, we don’t condone this stuff either.”
While it is too late for my fraternity, there are rumors that another fraternity on campus currently under investigation by the same office. In order to save them from the same harsh penalty, their investigation needs to be immediately taken away from the Office of Student Standards.
The Greek Life community at Eastern needs to band together and take a stand against investigations being handled like this in the future and more immediately to save this other fraternity from the same fate.
The Office of Student Standards should have been more transparent with Sigma Chi and its investigation. Sigma Chi was honest and transparent with the school throughout the entire process, and we should expect the same responsibility from the university. There should be no more secrets from the school and no more hiding accusations from organizations under investigation.
Organizations and students deserve the same transparency from the people investigating them in the future.
I call on the Board of Trustees and upper administration at Eastern to review very closely how the Office of Student Standards handled the investigation into the Eta Mu chapter.
Greek life is a big part of Eastern’s culture and I believe it should be the administration and board’s responsibility to make sure investigations like this are never handled in this manner again. Otherwise, I fear Greek life at Eastern will cease to exist.
JJ Bullock is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]