Two Lehigh University fraternities suspended after ‘significant alcohol incidents’

Lehigh University has suspended two fraternities while it investigates alcohol-related incidents that occurred during the first week of the fall semester, according to a blog run by Lehigh University’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.

Campus chapters of the Phi Kappa Theta and Delta Chi fraternities are prohibited from conducting all activities, including both organized events and “impromptu social gatherings” that could be considered fraternity events.

Delta Chi was suspended Thursday, and Phi Kappa Theta was suspended Saturday. The Bethlehem university also issued disciplinary warnings to two other fraternities — Alpha Tau Omega and Kappa Alpha — for party-related incidents.

In a statement published Monday on the Lehigh Greeks blog, Vice Provost of Student Affairs Ricardo Hall said police incidents and alcohol-related hospitalizations increased compared to last year’s fall semester. Several, he said, involved Greek social events.

“It is well within your individual and collective power to either live up to the high ideals upon which our fraternities and sororities were founded, or live down to the often negative stereotypes that dominate the local and national perceptions of fraternities and sororities,” he wrote.

A university spokeswoman, Lori Friedman, on Monday confirmed the blog posts represent the college’s position. She didn’t comment further.

Phi Kappa Theta is being investigated for “multiple significant alcohol incidents.” Delta Chi is being investigated for “concerning behavior related to alcohol and risk management procedures.”

The Office of Student Conduct & Community Expectations will conduct the investigations, and the suspension will remain in place until lifted by Dean of Students Katherine Lavinder.

Alpha Tau Omega received a disciplinary warning because a member held a large party with loud music Aug. 26 that resulted in a citation from the Lehigh University Police Department.

Kappa Alpha received a disciplinary warning because the Lehigh University police received multiple calls related to fraternity parties held the first weekend of the semester.

The recent spate of incidents come just two months after Lehigh dissolved another fraternity, Kappa Sigma, through July 2019.

That longer-term punishment followed alcohol-related code of conduct violations at its frat house earlier this year.

“As a fraternity man, I know that you are/we are much better than the negative stereotypes,” Hall wrote. “I am, though, genuinely concerned that the recent pattern of fraternity/sorority involvement in alcohol-related incidents will erode any goodwill and benefit of the doubt that your chapters have earned via true Greek Life efforts [leadership, scholarship, service].”

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