Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Kappa Sigma was the newest national fraternity at SUNY Geneseo.
GENESEO – A SUNY Geneseo fraternity is under interim suspension following allegations of hazing made earlier this month.
Two anonymous complaints were submitted to the college’s University Police Department March 9 via its silent witness form, alleging hazing was occurring at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house at 21 Orchard St. Because the hazing was allegedly occurring off campus, the college notified the village of Geneseo’s Police Department, said college spokesperson Monique Patenaude.
Geneseo Police Chief Eric Osganian said the anonymous tips alleged “there was pledging going on where the pledges were sleep deprived, mentally harassed, being called to the fraternity house at night” in violation of the college’s anti-hazing policies.
College policy prohibits any act committed for the purpose of initiating or maintaining membership in any organization – including a fraternity - that is intended to humiliate, intimidate or demean a student or endanger the mental or physical health of a student.
As part of his department’s investigation, Osganian said village officers interviewed a fraternity member and did a nighttime follow-up at the fraternity’s house on Orchard Street, but “couldn’t substantiate the allegations at this time.”
Osganian said his department’s investigation is now closed, pending additional information coming to light.
While the village’s investigation failed to uncover evidence of criminal activity, Patenaude said the college is conducting its own investigation to determine whether the fraternity violated student conduct policies.
“The fraternity was suspended on an interim basis by the college and their national organization pending the completion of an investigation and conduct review, if applicable,” said Patenaude. Members of the fraternity did not respond to requests for comment.
According to its Facebook page, Kappa Sigma was officially recognized as the national organization’s Tau Alpha chapter in April 2014. According to the national fraternity’s website, Geneseo’s chapter has 48 undergraduate members and has had 192 total initiates since the chapter’s founding.