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Ohio State Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter suspended for 3 years

The Ohio State Omicron fraternity chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Tau Kappa Epsilon has been suspended from Ohio State’s campus for three years following an investigation into the chapter’s violations of the Code of Student Conduct. The investigation found the fraternity chapter guilty of hazing, endangering behavior and improper use of alcohol.

As a result of the suspension, the chapter is no longer recognized as an Ohio State student organization, meaning other student organizations, such as active sororities, are not able to have events with it. Additionally, no recruitment or new member activities will be able to take place for the duration of the suspension.

“The safety, education and development of students is central to the mission of the university and the purpose of registered student organizations, including the university’s sororities and fraternities,” Dave Isaacs, spokesman for the Office of Student Life, said in an email statement announcing the suspension. “We hope that Tau Kappa Epsilon will successfully return to Ohio State’s campus following the completion of its suspension and the terms outlined to them.”

The chapter can petition to return to campus Spring 2021, but will have an additional year of probation if it is allowed back.

Current members of the chapter’s fraternity house will not be forced to move out by the university because the house is owned privately by the national headquarters.

TKE is given the opportunity to appeal the suspension if it chooses.

Neither chapter president Ian Lawson or the national headquarters for the fraternity have returned a request for comment on whether they will appeal the suspension.

The investigation of the fraternity chapter began in October and was one of 11 investigations into fraternities last semester alone.

The high number of fraternities under investigation ultimately led to Ohio State suspending social activity for all 37 Interfraternity Council chapters indefinitely in November, though that suspension will likely soon be lifted.

As part of the eight-page reinstatement plan for IFC chapters released last month by the Office of Student Life, Ohio State will now publicly post online the outcome of all Code of Student Conduct investigations.  Previously, no announcements were made publicly.

Posts will include the nature of the violations as well as the consequence. However, no website has been made yet, therefore the TKE suspension was not publicly posted.

The suspension is the chapter’s second from Ohio State, the first coming in 2001 that sent the fraternity off campus for one year. The suspension in 2001 was for similar patterns of misconduct. A news release announcing the suspension at the time said the chapter was found to have participated in hazing activities and “other recent poor behavior.”

The chapter appealed the suspension in 2001, though the appeal was denied.

There are currently 87 active TKE members at Ohio State, according to the chapter’s website.

Isaacs said Ohio State will continue to work with the current members and provide resources such as counseling, academic support and assistance finding housing if needed.

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