January 27, 2011 1:51 pm

University’s DKE fraternity suspended

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The University of Alberta’s Delta Kappa Episilon (DKE) fraternity has been suspended for five years.

"Hazing activity is strictly prohibited at the University of Alberta… I’ve suspended the DKE fraternity today as a student group for a period of five years. During the period of suspension they will be ineligible to register as a student group at the University," Frank Robinson, dean of students, said on Thursday.

"The Delta Kappa Episilon fraternity are longer allwoed to officially identify themselves as or carry on activities as if they are, associated with the University of Alberta in any manner."

The DKE will not be allowed to use the U of A’s name or insignia or the school’s liquor and gaming licenses. The fraternity will not be allowed to book space, access or rent equipment or participate in any university government activities.

The suspension is a result of an investigation by the university into a reported hazing incident after video surfaced last fall that allegedly showed DKE members involved in shocking hazing activities.

The Gateway newspaper – the university’s official student newspaper – reported that at a hazing in January 2010, DKE members told recruits to eat their own vomit, closed them in a plywood box, deprived them of sleep, and even forced them to remain in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time, while yelling and insulting the pledges.

Robinson said DKE admitted during the investigation that hazing activities took place over a number of years, involving current students and alumni.

Rory Tighe, vice president of student life with the University’s Student Union, said the DKE incident had cast a "negative shadow" on all fraternities on campus that can hopefully now be put behind them.

"Now they’ll (fraternities) have the opportunity to showcase all the great things they do for the community," Tighe said.

"The Greek community is upstanding members of the community. They generally go above and beyond what you’d expect of your average U of A student."

Robinson said the Dekes will meet with the university regularly during their suspension period.

"Going forward, I have reason to believe that this group will want to come back better, stronger, faster. We’ve had some positive discussions," he said.

The fraternity released a statement on their website shortly after the decision was announced, apologizing for the hazing incidents.

"We agree that hazing has no place at the University of Alberta or in fraternity life, and we, the Delta Phi chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, apologize to the international fraternity, the University of Alberta, the university community, and the other fraternities at the university," the statement said.

After three years, the fraternity can apply to have the suspension lifted if they can prove they have made changes within their local organization but there is no guarantee the suspension will be lifted after the three-year period.

No individual DKE member has been charged.

This isn’t the first time the fraternity has been in trouble. The U of A also sanctioned the DKE in 1999.

There are 17 fraternities and sororities on campus.

With files from Vinesh Pratap

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