Temple will no longer recognize the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity after the chapter’s appeal of an Oct. 10 student conduct hearing decision was denied last Wednesday.
Losing university recognition means TKE will no longer be able to participate in university events, recruit members or represent itself as a functioning organization around campus, Senior Director of Student Services Chris Carey said in an email.
“Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations,” Carey said. “When behaviors do not align with those values, sanctions up to and including loss of recognition are possible.”
A Student Conduct Board sanctioned TKE for alcohol, noise complaints that violated the Good Neighbor Policy and large crowds that exceeded the allotted guest list of more than 100 people after holding a party the night of Sept. 20, TKE President Frankie Bythrow and Vice President Andrew Lupo said. No citations or arrests were made.
The event was broken up after a resident on the 1800 block of Willington Street called Temple Police before midnight on Sept. 20, Bythrow and Lupo said.
Temple Police entered through the front door and climbed over the backyard wall of TKE’s house on the 1800 block of North 16th Street, Bythrow and Lupo said. A few officers either held cameras mounted on sticks or had them strapped to their chests or helmets.
Guests were escorted out and recorded by the cameras, the two said.
“[The event] was a registered social event through the university, so they knew we were having it,” Bythrow said.
Bythrow said he was surprised to learn Temple was cutting ties with the fraternity.
“I thought I had a good relationship with everyone in Student Affairs, I thought that TKE’s name was in good standing,” Bythrow said. “We’ve never had a problem with police [or] with the university.”
Bythrow and Lupo said TKE can no longer attend Temple Student Government and Temple University Greek Association meetings or participate in activities like Greek Week.
Bythrow and Lupo said TKE had made an effort in the past few years to improve its standing with the university.
“We have spent countless hours building up this fraternity that was in a broken state to an organization that does so much good,” Lupo said. “And then to have something that you’ve worked so hard on get taken away from you like that for a completely unjust reason is just mind-blowing.”
“If your fraternity is a representation of your members, technically you’re changing your identity every two to three years with people coming in and going out,” Bythrow said. “When we took over, the state of the chapter was not that good and we changed a few of our rules, we recruited a different type of individual, and despite all this we were sanctioned harshly.”
Lupo and Bythrow said the chapter is still recognized by national TKE headquarters, and must still fulfill its national requirements.
Members of the chapter released a petition on the fraternity’s Facebook page on Oct. 14 to gather support from Temple students and alumni. As of Oct. 27, it had garnered more than 1,150 signatures.
“When the news broke out, my phone would be ringing off the hook from alumni, from local TKEs in the area,” Bythrow said. “There was a lot of [communication] between me and our national headquarters.”
The Alpha Chi Rho Temple chapter was located in the same house as TKE’s current housing.
“AXP left a bad taste in the neighbor’s mouth,” Lupo said of the resident who called Temple Police on Sept. 20.
Lian Parsons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @Lian_Parsons
CORRECTION: A version of this story which appeared in print on Oct. 28 incorrectly attributed details about Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Student Conduct case to Senior Director of Student Services Chris Carey. These details were actually provided by TKE fraternity members Frankie Bythrow and Andrew Lupo. Carey did not offer specifics about TKE’s hearing with a Student Conduct Board.