Eastern’s Lambda Chi Alpha chapter placed on probation

Cassie Buchman, Editor-in-Chief

Eastern’s chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha has been placed on probation following an investigation of hazing and pre-initiation activities, interim vice president for student affairs Lynette Drake confirmed Tuesday.

Tad Lichtenauer, director of communications for Lambda Chi Alpha International Headquarters, said in a statement to The News that members of the fraternity chose to “repeatedly violate the oaths and laws of membership, in addition to violating the policies and laws of the university and local law enforcement.”

Some of this dangerous behavior did allegedly involve the hazing of new members,Lichtenauer said.

“Our Board of Directors has a zero tolerance policy for this conduct, and we are partnering with the university to ensure this does not continue,” he wrote.

In a statement from Drake, she said this decision was made by the fraternity’s national office and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Programs.

Attempts to contact members of Lambda Chi Alpha’s executive board were returned with an email from Eastern’s chapter adviser, Dirk Bennett, saying they were instructed to forward all media inquiries to Lichtenauer.

Bennett added in an email that all officers and members would continue to comply with this and refer all requests for questions through to Lichtenaur.

In his statement to the The News, Lichtenaur said the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity Board of Directors voted to establish an Alumni Control Board at the Phi-Alpha chapter of Eastern on Jan.16.

The Alumni Control Board has “absolute authority to act in its discretion for the preservation of the chapter,” according to the statement.

This includes the authority to discipline any member of the chapter for any offense and impose a penalty, including expulsion, suspension or probation.

Since then, the chapter has been on “limited operations” by the International Headquarters. “Limited operations” meant there are severe restrictions regarding chapter meetings, philanthropy, intramural and social events.”

Lichtenaur could not be reached for further comment as of press time on Wednesday.

Nathan Wehr, interim director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Programs, declined to comment, instead saying to reach out to university spokesperson Josh Reinhart and Drake.

“This action (to place Lambda Chi on probation) was undertaken to preserve the standards of excellence and personal values to which EIU and its collective stakeholders hold the entirety of its Greek organizations and participants,” Drake said in a statement.

Drake was not available for further comment beyond the statement as of press time Wednesday, but said later that evening that she would try to get back to The News the next day.

The News attempted to reach out to Reinhart about what the terms of the probation were, how long it would be, what the specific hazing allegations were and why Sigma Chi was suspended for hazing while Lambda Chi was put on probation.

Reinhart confirmed that there was an investigation and that Lambda Chi Alpha is on probation, but did not give any more information beyond that.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]