TKE suspended pending investigation

Michelle Marchante/News Director

Tau Kappa Epsilon has been suspended for allegedly violating the University’s student code of conduct, following the release of screenshots depicting “inappropriate content” in the group’s TKE private chat, said Larry Lunsford, vice president of Student Affairs.

The incident was originally reported to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution in July, according to Lunsford, but TKE was not found responsible because TKE said it was someone “impersonating” them, and there was no other evidence to say otherwise. Student Conduct had the content, but could not determine the group responsible for that, Lunsford said.

“When it got sent out by someone in September, we learned because individuals came forward who self-identified that we could in fact determine it was Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and then charge them through Student Conduct,” Lunsford said in an interview with Student Media.

After the screenshots were released to the public, two women came forward and said they did not give TKE permission to take their photos, providing the evidence needed for the University’s investigation, Lunsford said.

TKE will remain suspended until the investigation is completed, which means the fraternity is unable to have any operations on campus such as having parties, participating in intramural sports, holding meetings or recruiting new members.

TKE will go through a hearing and if found responsible, Student Conduct will recommend sanctions. TKE had around 100 members at the time of the charges, 30 of which were in the chat. Those individual members may also face repercussions.

The University doesn’t tolerate this kind of behavior, Lunsford said, and if the fraternity is found guilty, they will take appropriate action, which could lead to kicking TKE off-campus.

Lunsford has requested for the investigation to be “expedited” and hopes to have a decision by mid-November.

When contacted for comment, Natalia Quintero-Riestra, president of the FIU Panhellenic Council, said through email that all seven sororities have agreed to the commitment outlined in the statement letter regarding TKE and declined to comment further.

 

Student Media will continue to update this story as it progresses. 

 

Featured image courtesy of Flickr

About the Author

Michelle Marchante
Michelle Marchante is the 2018-2019 Editor-in-Chief of PantherNOW. Majoring in broadcast journalism, she lives and breathes web, print, radio and TV news 24/7. You can connect with her on Twitter @TweetMichelleM

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